The wait is almost over. In two days’ time, Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce will finally come to blows to decide who edges closer to a heavyweight title opportunity and who moves back in to the chasing pack.

Ahead of their British, Commonwealth and European title collision at Church House, Westminster, on Saturday, both men cut confident figures at the pre-fight press conference as they prepare to illustrate their championship prowess in what looks, on paper, to be a pick’ em clash.

‘Dynamite’ Dubois (15-0, 14 KOs) says he wants to score a statement knockout to put the rest of the heavyweight division on notice.

“I feel confident and left no-stone unturned in training. I am not intimidated by his experience. He has never been in with a fighter like me before and I’m ready to go,” said Greenwich’s Dubois. “I’ve accomplished what I’ve needed to and it’s my destiny. You can argue some guys he beat were past their prime. I am young and hungry. I am ready to go 12 rounds no problem if I have to. I am ready for a long, hard fight but also a quick one. I have the power in both hands to take him out. I will break him down and chop him up. 

“People haven’t seen the best of me. This fight will show I can do something else. I am looking forward to showing my whole repertoire and skill. I want to win in devastating fashion and knock him out. I want to send a clear message to the rest of the fighters in the heavyweight division and to the world that I am coming. I’m ready for war.”

Joyce is, a little surprisingly, a clear underdog with the bookies – with BetFred having the ‘Juggernaut’ an 11/4 outsider, with Dubois at 1/4 on and the draw a 28-1 shot. The Putney behemoth believes he will make a mockery of those odds though he will be without trainer Ismael Salas who tested positive for Covid-19 on his arrival at the fight hotel in Westminster.

“I am not under pressure. I am confident and ready to do the business. The bookies have Daniel in a good position so he has the pressure to deliver.  I’m the underdog and coming to take him out,” said Joyce (11-0, 10 KOs). 

“I don’t care if people have written me off. My amateur experience makes a difference. I have been there and been tested. There are no questions about my ability and my achievements. Dubois hasn’t done anything in the Senior amateurs or quite yet in the pros. I feel I have achieved more in my fewer professional fights than he has. I have had the test and answered questions.  I’m in a place where I’m ready to go for that world title. 

“I have seen him knockout guys, but do you think I wouldn’t have knocked out those guys? I have power in both hands, I have a good chin, my engine is good and I’m ready to go 12 rounds if need be. If I see the opportunity I will punch him until he’s down. If his power doesn’t put me down he is in a heap of trouble. I’ve taken big punches and kept going forward. I prefer not to take them big shots. I want to move out of the way and not get hit. I’m not blessed with speed but I hit the target and keep coming. I don’t want to leave it to chance. I want to go to work, find my range and knock him out. I have nothing to say to him except respect your elders and he will do on Saturday night.”

Main image: Queensberry Promotions.