Last month, top heavyweight prospects Joe Joyce (12-0) and Daniel Dubois (15-1) squared off in a highly anticipated showdown in Westminster.
The 23-year-old Dubois entered the ring as a 3-1 favorite but it was Joyce who took control of the fight in the second half and stopped Dubois in the 10th round. Dubois' left eye had begun to swell in the 4th round and a heavy jab at the start of the 10th round caused it to completely swell shut. He pawed at the eye before taking a knee and was counted out.
It was revealed after the fight that Dubois suffered double-fracture around the left eye.
The 34-year-old Joyce's trainer Ismael Salas was absent from his corner because of a positive test for COVID-19 earlier in the week. A coronavirus outbreak hit Salas' gym in Las Vegas, Nevada a few days before he traveled to the United Kingdom. Steve Broughton, who was in Joyce's corner for his July fight against Michael Wallisch, was in his corner again for the Dubois fight.
Salas watched the fight from his hotel room while being quarantined and was very pleased with the way Joyce fought. Salas had worked with Joyce in the UK earlier this fall but had returned to the United States for commitments he had made to other fighters in his stable. He kept tabs on Joyce's training via FaceTime.
"I thought it was an epic fight where the fighter with the best plan and strategy came out with the victory. Our plan was always to control the distance and look for openings and use the jab both downstairs and on his head. What was most important was that Joe stuck with the game plan and tactics throughout the fight. He was able to remain calm and took over the second half of the fight," Salas told BoxingScene.com.
"I would like to congratulate Joe and all of the team and also tell Daniel Dubois that I hope he recovers soon. He should keep his head up and take this loss as a lesson to learn from. He should sit down with his team and analyze what went wrong and what they need to improve. He is a very talented young fighter and I hope he recovers soon and that he becomes a world champion in the very near future."
Salas was very fortunate and only experienced mild symptoms from the COVID-19 virus and has since fully recovered.
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