Daniel Dubois returns under the bright lights of the BT Sport Studio for what should amount to a warm-up against Dutchman, Ricardo Snijders, before a domestic clash with Queensberry promotional rival, Joe Joyce, later this year.
Daniel ‘Dynamite’ Dubois enters the ring inside the BT Sport Studio on Saturday looking to secure a huge payday and British heavyweight showdown against fellow Queensberry roster rival, Joe Joyce. Dubois has steamrolled through every hurdle of his career so far. Concerns surrounding his gas tank were squashed during his ten-round domination over rugged journeyman, Kevin Johnson. Dubois’ chin and resilience held up under heavy artillery during his slug-fest with the hulking, Richard Lartey. Finally, question marks over Dubois’ fundamentals were erased following his resounding five-round win over undefeated prospect, Nathan Gorman. During every test that Dubois has faced, the twenty-two-year-old has passed with flying colours. Is it finally time to board the hype train of another hard-hitting heavyweight? Or are the scars of former Olympian, David Price, still too deep?
Truth be told, Saturdays main event will give us little indication of the ceiling for young Daniel Dubois. Ricardo Snijders is not only a last-minute replacement, but a replacement who has to ship on extra weight to hit the heavyweight scales. An unknown career cruiserweight, Snijders has fought at heavyweight a handful of times, even capturing the Dutch Heavyweight title in the process, yet his natural fighting weight is firmly around the cruiserweight limit. Normally, Snijders would be viewed as a step back in the career of Dubois, but these are not normal times. After a lengthy pandemic induced lay-off, Dubois’ showdown with Snijders is a necessary and calculated warm-up before fireworks later this year.
The rest of the card effectively amounts to a prospect watchlist. Sunny Edwards seeks to defend his IBF International Super Flyweight Title against the hit or miss Thomas Essomba. Sam Maxwell aims to climb over British gatekeeper, Joe Hughes. In what should prove an electric 50-50 fight, Maxwell will be hoping for a dominant performance and to silence the doubters since his wobble at European level. Whooped by opponent Sabri Sediri over ten rounds, Maxwell looked lost at sea. A flash knockout in the tenth round after Sediri had settled himself into an active strategy of taunting rather than defending ensured Maxwell retained his undefeated record and momentum towards more prestigious titles.
World Boxing Organisation International Heavyweight Title
Daniel Dubois (14-0, 13KO) vs Ricardo Snijders (18-1, 8 KO)
Britain found itself the pioneer of heavyweight boxing during the 2010’s twilight, and looks certain to dominate the 2020s too. Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury lead the pack in terms of world titles and resumes, but British fighters have also filled up the top contender roles too, most notably: Dillian Whyte, Joe Joyce and Derreck Chisora. Moreover, domestic level British fighters have been able to garner large public profiles despite limited success in the ring: David Price (understandably, with his Olympic background) and David Allen (an open spoken, granite chinned brawler). Perhaps the cream of the crop is the twenty-two-year-old prospect fighting out of Greenwich, London – Daniel Dubois.
Stacking fourteen fights into a three-year-old career, and winning thirteen by highlight-reel knockout is astounding for a boxer who has routinely been disregarded and stiff. An issue with Dubois’ work is a certain lack of aesthetic that the more athletic, elite heavyweights can produce. Plodding forward with a high guard, his elbows struggling to cover the entirety of his body, it beggars belief as to how an opponent is unable to simply outmanoeuvre Dubois. Part of the reason behind Dubois’ success is his ability to apply calculated pressure using those very feet of stone. Despite his youth, Dubois has masterfully learned to cut off the ring and negate the speed advantages that his most recent opponents have possessed. Nathan Gorman’s inability to slip out the side after firing his shots, suffocated against the ropes as a result of Dubois’ ring cutting, left Gorman vulnerable in the pocket and open to punishment. Furthermore, Dubois has learnt to hone his power, no longer failing to brute an opponent as he attempted against Kevin Johnson. Patience dictates the new style that Dubois trialled in the Kyotaro Fujimoto fight, comfortable to wait at range and allow his opponent to walk himself on a nuclear bomb. There is little doubt that Dubois will be able to return to his old habits of brute-forcing his undersized opponent out of the ring on Saturday, yet Dubois should stop such urges. Saturday is a rare opportunity for Dubois to get comfortable using a varied offence without the usual pressure that accompanies his main event showmanship.
Ricardo Snijders, unfortunate to say, is a terribly slow starter. Opting to box with a tight guard and attempting to catch incoming shots on his gloves, Snijders is going to have to either change his style overnight or withstand Dubois’ firepower. Having fought outside Holland only once before, Snijders was outworked by Joel Tambwe Djeko, a rather limited fighter. Saturday marks Snijders second fight outside Holland, and a similar fate faces him. Outside of a tight guard and decent-ish chin, Snijders lacks the athleticism to punish Dubois when he overextends. Worryingly, Snijders was out jabbed by Giorgi Tevdorashvili for large portions of their fight, despite owning a 75″ reach and 6″3′ height advantage. Facing off against Dubois, who possesses a far more accurate and powerful jab with three extra inches of reach, says all you need to know.
Predicted Result: Dubois TKO Round 3
A classic line for heavyweight underdogs is to claim ‘it is heavyweight boxing, it only takes one punch’. This is somewhat true, but does not hold true when the opponent in question is not a career heavyweight. Snijders will lack the power to gain any sort of respect from Dubois, and it will likely transpire to a quick nights work for the Londoner.
Result: Dubois def. Snijders // TKO Round 2 0:20
Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ❌
International Boxing Federation International Super Flyweight Title
Super Flyweight (115)
Sunny Edwards (14-0, 4KO) vs Thomas Essomba (10-5, 4KO)
Rather than starting with the negatives, I shall identify the strengths of Edwards’ game. Edwards is extremely comfortable on the back-foot, and combines his liquid footwork to dance rings around his opponents. Edwards’ sublime hand speed allows for lengthy five/six punch combinations which regularly switch between body and head. When Edwards’ has a read of his man and gauged the distance, he can use his athleticism to slip an opponent’s offence before countering with an extended combination. All in all, Edwards is a fun fighter to watch.
Now, the negatives. There is a stark lack of power apparent in Edwards’ punches. It would not be worrying if Edwards was facing off against the top flyweights of the world. Unfortunately for Edwards, he has struggled to gain any real respect for his power at European level. Take the Pedro Matos fight, for example. Matos is a very limited fighter who fights in a typical European fashion; high guard, stalk forward, push fighters into the corner before unloading a barrage of hooks. Edwards was more than skilled enough to avoid Matos for the majority of the fight, but even after landing several seemingly hurtful combinations, Matos looked unfazed. Eventually, Matos suffocated rather than broke and was stopped in the eighth round by Edwards, yet his lack of power was clear to see. Moreover, Edwards’ desire to throw eye-catching combinations has led to a few scares already in his young career. Frequently tagged by Marcel Braithwaite after lingering in the pocket, Edwards was knocked down in the seventh and suffered a cut over his eye in the ninth. Against the elite, Edwards will be exposed unless he settles down into a more mature, composed performance.
Thomas Essomba is a man on the rise. Written off by many after being stopped by prospect Lee McGregor back in 2018, Essomba has since flown and not looked back. During a dominating unanimous decision over Sean McGoldrick, Essomba looked stiff. Despite the lack of beauty to his work, however, Essomba was able to out-work his opponent. Continuously throwing out straight shots, blinding his opponent into a high guard, Essomba snook in liver shots to end his combinations. A three-round stoppage of highly regarded Kazakh prospect, Iskander Kharsan, in Kazakhstan, further illuminates the quality of Essomba. Many will look at the record of Essomba and snear, but the man has stepped up to face prospects and performed admirably even during losses. Back and forth points losses to Jay Harris and Iain Butcher early in Essomba’s career reveal his durability and conditioning. Additionally, the one knockout loss on Essomba’s record occurred in the twelfth round after a gruelling pace had been set.
Predicted Result: Edwards Decision
Edwards should have enough quality to see himself through to another points win, but Essomba is a fine fighter and could possibly cause Edwards to hit the canvas yet again.
Result: Edwards def. Essomba // Decision (unanimous – 116-112, 117-112, 117-111)
Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️
Rest of the Card
World Boxing Organisation European Super Lightweight Title
Super Lightweight (140)
Sam Maxwell (13-0, 11KO) vs Joe Hughes (17-5-1, 7KO)
An excellent amateur that has failed to rocket into his professional career, Sam Maxwell will be hoping to pass the domestic gatekeeper test with flying colours. Perhaps misjudging his opponent, Maxwell looked lost when he faced continental rival Sabri Sediri. Knocked down twice and with less than a minute on the clock, Maxwell proved his championship heart and power as he slept Sediri to the amusement of the home crowd. Performances like that are entertaining and skyrocket your name value, but they are not advisable for career longevity. Since that fateful knockout, Maxwell crushed a can and stopped the undefeated Connor Parker in seven rounds. Both wins fail to even rank at a British level and Maxwell desperately needs to ramp up his competition quality before age catches up to the thirty-one-year-old.
Joe Hughes has endured a damaging yet entertaining career. Perhaps performing beyond his ability, Hughes has been able to secure the British and English Super Lightweight belts, as well as the vacant European belt. A slew of defeats taint Hughes’ record, however. Hughes’ pressure first style is easily exposed by the classier out-boxers of super lightweight. Hughes’ best work stems from his ability to rough up his opponent and force them into a drawn-out shoot-out. Unfortunately for Hughes, he fails to effectively bait higher-quality opponents into an inside war of attrition and has dropped decision wins to the likes of Anthony Yigit and Robbie Davis Jr.
Predicted Result: Maxwell Decision
Hughes certainly has the style that can make this a long night for Maxwell, but the amateur sensation should be more than well equipped to deal with a pressure-first fighter. If Hughes is to win, then Maxwell will truly need to consider his future in the professional ranks of sport.
Result: Maxwell def. Hughes // Decision (unanimous – 97-94, 97-94, 98-92)
Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️
Light Heavyweight (175)
Willy Hutchinson (11-0, 7KO) vs
Luke Blackledge (26-9-2, 9KO) LMR: Ben Thomas (2-2-3, 1KO)
Highly touted Scotsman, Willy Hutchinson, returns to the ring for what should have been his first step-up in competition. It would appear that Blackledge has unfortunately been pulled due to a failed routine brain scan. We wish all the best for Blackledge who has fought through a long, and punishing career in one of the more hurtful divisions.
What to expect from Willy? Well for a light heavyweight, the young twenty-two year old favours style over power. Switching stances with ease, firing off a constant jab to maintain a comfortable striking distance and the ability to break his opponent’s guard, Hutchinson is a fabulous boxer to watch. An issue that may rear its head later in Hutchinson’s career is his susceptibility to exiting the pocket with his chin high in the air, a more powerful opponent will punish him for such a basic mistake. At such last-minute, don’t expect Hutchinson to find a boxer of adequate quality to test him.
Predicted Result: Hutchinson TKO Round 5
Hard to predict when there isn’t an opponent, but Hutchinson has become more calculated with landing his power shots as of late. No doubt, Hutchinson will be looking to kick-start his career after the Corona-virus lay-off.
Result: Hutchinson def. Thomas // TKO Round 1 2:09
Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ❌
Sam Noakes (3-0, 3KO) vs LMR: Jordan Ellison (11-29-2, 1KO)
A big, strong lightweight who has only really fought the bottom of the division whilst he starts his career. Promising tp see if Noakes’ frequent doubling and tripling of his jab to set up a power right hand. Unfortunately the double/triple jab is rarely masked with feints, nor is it lowered to the body. A bit of variety would do Noakes a world of good as he develops.
Predicted Result: Noakes TKO Round 5
Once again, terribly hard to predict, but Noakes likes to finish his fights.
Result: Noakes def. Ellison // TKO Round 5 1:28
Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️
David Adeleye (2-0, 2KO) vs LMR: Phil Williams (3-25-1, 1KO)
David Adeleye is a young heavyweight who is still trying to find his feet. His debut fight against a blown-up cruiserweight was a very messy affair. Trying too hard to get his man out the ring, Adeleye was eventually successful but was tagged frequently in the first-round. Stopping Matt Gordon just last month, Adeleye looked far more composed and sat behind a jab until he found his read to explode.
Predicted Result: Adeleye TKO Round 3
It is heavyweight, the journeymen are pretty sparse.
Result: Adeleye def. Williams // TKO Round 3 2:10
Winner ✔️ // Method ✔️ // Round ✔️
Queensberry: Dubois vs Snijders
2020 Boxing Season
Takeaway comments: Lot of anger online about a card stacked with mismatches. Seems many failed to watch the Edwards/Essomba and Maxwell/Hughes fights.
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