AFTER Joe Joyce bombed out Michael Wallisch five weeks ago, it’s over to heavyweight rival Daniel Dubois on Saturday night. He headlines Queensberry Promotions’ show at BT Sport Studios in a 10 rounder against Ricardo Snijders.
Provided all goes as expected, Dubois can look ahead to projected date with Joyce on October 24.
Snijders is a 26-year-old Dutchman who has stepped in after there were problems with Erik Pfeifer’s medicals, says Martin Bowers, Dubois’s trainer.
“It’s not the fight he wanted,” he said, “but who knows, maybe it will be a better fight. He’s younger, fresher and probably hungrier as well.”
Snijders is also small. He has won the Dutch heavyweight title in the past but fought predominantly at cruiserweight until Joel Djeko (15-2-1) snapped his unbeaten record with a 12-round points win last May.
Djeko is known to British fans with good memories for dropping a split decision to Craig Kennedy (14-0) on a Channel Five show four years ago – after twice decking the Welshman.
Down in the 10th, Snijders ended up on the wrong end of 117-111 (twice) and 116-111 scores.
Snidjers has boxed once since then. Last September he knocked out Istvan Kun (7-13-2) inside two rounds and weighed 213lbs (15st 3 1/2lbs). It was his seventh inside the distance win from his last eight victories.
As an amateur, Snijders was Dutch heavyweight champion in 2015 before turning over the following January. He won his first 17 before running into Djeko.
We know that Djeko is a handful – at his weight and level.
Dubois is a genuine heavyweight and he has real power.
Dubois had five straight stoppages during a breakthrough 12 months in 2019.
He walked through the towering Razvan Cojanu (16-5) in under six minutes, survived a chin check to outslug Richard Lartey (14-1) and then became the third youngest heavyweight to win the British title by overpowering Nathan Gorman (16-0), a fight BN (foolishly) tipped him to lose.
That was followed by blowing out Ebenezer Tetteh – a fighter he dwarfed – in 130 seconds and in his final outing of the year, Dubois ironed out Japan’s Kyotaro Fujimoto (21-1) inside two rounds.
That was up there with the most spectacular knockouts on his 14-0 (13) record. It came when Fujimoto finally stopped moving to launch a right hand – and Dubois beat him to it. He turned his lights out with a right-hand piledriver of his own.
“I’ve got some good knockouts,” Dubois told Boxing News. “But I’m not satisfied yet. I want more.”
Bowers said he was “hoping to get seven rounds out of Pfeifer” and says that is what his fighter needs.
Dubois will be rusty having been out since last December, but still, I’m not sure Snijders will last more than two or three.
“Dubois looks at his opponents like a hungry man looks at a plate of food,” was how one trainer put it and that seems a good way of spelling out his attitude to boxing.
We can’t be too critical of the matchmaking considering Pfeifer – who would have been an excellent test – pulled out, but expect Dubois to devour Snijders early.
As is usually the way when Dubois fights, box-of-tricks Sunny Edwards fights on the undercard and the British super-flyweight champion accepts he faces his hardest test so far against Manchester-based southpaw Thomas Essomba (10-5).
Edwards was a volunteer at the London Olympics and remembers seeing Essomba push Paddy Barnes before losing 15-10 when representing Cameroon.
Sunny has watched Essomba, who also boxed at the 2008 Olympics, in the pros as well and said: “He’s strong, tough, can punch, take a punch . . . he’s just a good fighter.”
Good enough to win the Commonwealth flyweight title and in his last two fights, he’s snapped the unbeaten records of Sean McGoldrick (9-0) and Iskander Kharsan (7-0).
Only championship-level fighters such as Iain Butcher, Jay Harris, Kyle Williams and Lee McGregor have beaten Essomba and he pushed them all. Opponents say the 30-year-old is strong, has long arms and can punch. Essomba is also comfortable in both stances.
Edwards had a wobble last time out. A flash knockdown against Junior Granados (16-5-1) aside, Sunny had barely taken a punch as he danced around the flat-footed South Americans he had been thrown – until he faced Liverpool’s Marcel Braithwaite (9-1) for the vacant British title at the Copper Box last December.
In the seventh, Braithwaite was able to time his attack well enough to drop Edwards.
After that, Braithwaite loaded up rather too much, Edwards saw his punches coming and by the end of the eighth he was in charge and on his way to a unanimous points win.
Others have found Edwards hard to hit because he’s forever moving.
The way Granados and Braithwaite caught him was to punch with Edwards for the brief moments he held his feet. If you’re a split second too slow pulling the trigger against Edwards, he won’t be there.
Essomba, now managed by Errol Johnson, is heavy handed, but can he catch Edwards either in a cat-and-mouse countering match or by hunting him down and getting his head on his chest ?
Louis Norman knows both having sparred Edwards and been knocked out by an Essomba body shot.
We go along with his prediction that Edwards wins on points.
The super-lightweight clash between Sam Maxwell and former European champion Joe Hughes is a pick ‘em.
From Malmesbury, Wilts, Hughes (17-5-1) has the better CV and Maxwell acknowledges as much.
“I want to be where he is,” said the 30 year-old Liverpudlian, who has a height advantage of more than two inches.
Hughes won his European title in Italy, outpointing Andrea Scarpa (24-2), lost narrowly to Robbie Davies Jnr (17-1) when looking to add the British championship and last time out, he was outpointed by the polished and razor sharp Spanish southpaw Sandor Martin (35-2) in a bid to regain the European belt.
Hughes has been 12 rounds in five of his last six and everything he’s achieved since turning over a decade ago, he’s achieved with one hand. Because of a medical condition, Hughes’ right arm is two-and-a-half inches shorter than his left, so he barely throws his right. Maxwell (13-0) describes his lead hand as “world class.”
Trained by father-in-law Andy O’Kane, Hughes often concedes height and reach to opponents, but because his timing is so good, he can jab with them and he’s strong.
Davies, who ended their fight with his right eye swollen, said Hughes was “a pit bull.”
Maxwell has been rather better protected in his pro career and when he stepped up, he pulled off that great escape against unknown Frenchman Sabri Sediri (10-0-1), forcing the late stoppage after being dropped in both the opening rounds.
He was then too big and strong for Midlander Connor Parker (12-0) in his last outing and without too much confidence, we go for Maxwell to use his physical advantages and produce a career-best performance to outpoint Hughes.
THE VERDICT: Get ready for another Dubois highlight reel KO and undercard has some well-matched battles