With fellow unbeaten Londoner Joyce, 33, watching on from ringside, the 21-year-old Dubois pumped out stiff jabs and one-twos in the opening round. The Greenwich giant also searched for gaps to land hurtful hooks on his Ghanaian opponent, who only received his UK visa 48 hours before stepping into the ring. Lartey, however, was up for the fight and happy to reply with swings of his own.
A flush overhand right from Lartey hit the target in the second, but Dubois took it well. The African then had to soak up some punishment himself in the form of a solid uppercut. The same shot stunned Lartey again in the next session, but he responded with commendable aggression and intent, instead of going into a shell. The heavyweights then swapped an assortment of full-blooded blows during what was a thrilling exchange, with Dubois’ chin undergoing its sternest test so far.
The lively action continued in the fourth, though this time it was of a one-sided nature, as Dubois connected with a crunching right hand to drop Lartey. The referee called a halt at 1-50, with the visitor in no position to continue.
The victory made it 11 wins from 11 for Dubois, with 10 of these coming inside the distance. Joyce, meanwhile – who this week became a promotional stablemate of Dubois – boasts a record of 8-0 (8). Whether or not the highly touted prospects are matched together by Queensberry Promotions in the near future remains to be seen, as both have other avenues that they could follow, meaning that the contest may be left to ‘marinate’ for longer. Nevertheless, a Joyce-Dubois bout for the vacant British title would certainly be extremely well received by UK fight fans, if it were to happen.
Elsewhere on the card, undefeated New Malden southpaw Lerrone Richards picked up the vacant Commonwealth super-middleweight belt by unanimously outscoring Birmingham’s former British middleweight champion Tommy Langford on marks of 118-110, 118-111 and 116-113.
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