Target practice as Dubois triumphs in two

Daniel Dubois made light work of Dutchman Ricardo Snijders, scoring four knockdowns en route to an easy second round stoppage at the BT Sport Studios in Stratford, London, on Saturday night.

For heavyweight Dubois, the fight was more of an appearance than a tune-up for his projected October 24 showdown against rival Joe Joyce. It was target practice from the opening bell as a sharp Dubois (15-0, 14 KOs) quickly found the measure of his Dutch foe and broke him down to head and body.

Snijders, a late sub for German Eric Pfeifer, was simply outclassed. A crunching left hook to the body sent him backpedalling to the canvas early on. He rose, but was bundled down again under intense pressure with referee Marcus McDonnell ruling a second knockdown even though it looked more of a push. Snijders (18-2, 8 KOs) was dropped once more with clubbing hands by the ropes and barely survived the round.

Twenty seconds into the second, it was all over with Dubois unleashing a vicious right-left to the body to topple Snijders a fourth time. He got up, but referee McDonnell rightly waved it off.

“I was just getting warmed up. I was excited to be out there again and, hopefully, next time I will have a proper fighter in there with me, Joe Joyce or whoever is next. I needed a fight, any fight really. This was perfect, just getting in and out and I enjoyed it,” Dubois told Steve Bunce of BT Sport.

“I can’t wait to get it on with Joe. I really want that fight. Just a big name next. Anyone will do. That’s the next step for me. I need a step up. I’ve won the British [title] and now I need to climb on ever further on trajectory to the world title.”

Croydon super-fly Sunny Edwards was just too skilful and slick for the ever-game Thomas Essomba in a battle of switch-hitters. Scores were 117-111, 117-112 and 116-112.

Edwards, sporting an outrageous pig-tailed haircut, was generally in command with his smooth jab, crisp counters and much quicker feet. He danced out of danger and rarely allowed Essomba to ruffle him on the inside. The dogged Essomba (10-6, 4 KOs) pressed throughout, but was usually a pace behind as he lunged in with single shots. 

There was a moment of worry in the 10th when Edwards (15-0, 4 KOs) turned over his right ankle, but he shrugged off the effects to see out the final two rounds and coast to victory.

“I think maybe you could give him two [rounds], but even then every time I landed I made sure I was finishing off with that jab,” Edwards told Steve Bunce before shaking out that sore ankle. “Really, I am a flyweight. I am boxing at super-flyweight for the opportunities. I want world titles and I want them at flyweight because really Thomas Essomba was a boiled-down bantamweight, he was massive in there compared to me. I am happy with that; 15-0, I can’t really complain.”

Liverpool 140-pounder Sam Maxwell (13-0, 11 KOs) scored a career-best win with a disciplined display against former European champion Joe Hughes. Scores were 98-92 and 97-94 (twice).

Hughes (17-6-1, 7 KOs) is never an easy night for anyone, but Maxwell raised his game in a tough test of his credentials. There were a number of close rounds, but from midway Maxwell pulled away with his well-schooled boxing and straight shots. Hughes was always a danger on the inside, especially with the left hook and body shots, and it looked closer than the cards suggested. 

“If I made any mistakes, he has a left hook that could knock out anyone in the division,” Maxwell told Steve Bunce. “From the first round, I was switched on to make sure he landed the least shots possible. 

“I boxed one of the top lads in Britain and that bought the best out of me. I’m glad he gave me the opportunity to fight him. I felt I boxed really well, I’m really, really happy with my performance.”

Scottish hope Willy Hutchinson (12-0, 8 KOs) blitzed Bolton’s Ben Thomas in 129 seconds of the opening round. Thomas, fighting on nine days’ notice, was no match for the former amateur star who reeled off his full repertoire of shots against an outgunned opponent.

Hutchinson dropped Thomas in the opening minute with a right hand followed by a body shot and soon afterwards sent him down again with a right uppercut and chopping left hand, where referee Michael Alexander intervened. This fight took place at light-heavy, but Hutchinson, still only 22, plans to push for titles at 168lbs. He’s a genuine threat.

Ladbroke Grove’s David Adeleye (3-0, 3 KOs) is a heavyweight to keep an eye on. The 23-year-old looked sharp halting Swindon’s crafty Phil Williams (3-26-1, 1 KO) in three rounds.

Williams is a noted survivor, having only been stopped three times previously, but was softened up by a wicked jab and some sickening shots to the body. Adeleye began to unload in the second before hurting Williams badly with a thudding right hand in the third. The Swindon man backed off under a sustained onslaught when referee Alexander stepped in.

In the show-closer at lightweight, Maidstone banger Sam Noakes (4-0, 4 KOs) added to his growing reputation, scoring two knockdowns in a fifth-round stoppage of a brave Jordan Ellison (11-30-2, 11 KOs).

Main image: Daniel Dubois, Queensberry Promotions.