Thoughts from this past weekend’s boxing action.
Hard Luck Gabe: Friday night in Hollywood, Florida, Gabe Rosado suffered the 13th loss of his 15 year career. The Philadelphia native came up on the short end of a split decision (115-113, 113-115, 113-115) to former IBF and WBA Middleweight Champion Daniel Jacobs. Rosado (25-13-1, 14KO) stayed true to form in being prepared and ready to fight, and in many viewers eyes had done enough to earn the win on the cards. However, anyone who has followed Rosado’s career knows, when it comes to the big fights, the close cards don’t fall in his favor. All things considered, Rosado could be this decades most hard luck fighter.
It’s a Miracle: Not just that Jacobs (37-3-0, 30KO) was able to leave with the victory, but that there were viewers that were able to make it through all twelve rounds of the fight. The Brooklyn native himself admitted that he delivered a poor performance, going so far to say that he treated the fight like a sparring session. The fight has left a sour taste in the mouths of fans and brought out criticism from fellow Super-Middleweight and IBF titleholder Caleb Plant who was quick to poke holes in Jacobs after the bout. If Jacobs wants to bounce back with a sharp performance that reminds everyone of who he is and what he can do, hopefully him vs Plant is a fight we see next year.
Dynamite can’t stop the Juggernaut: Built as the next big thing in British Heavyweight boxing, 23 year old “Dynamite” Daniel Dubois was brought to his knees by Joe “The Juggernaut” Joyce and unable to answer the referee’s count Saturday night. Dubois fought well but Joyce used the young rising heavyweight’s left eye for target practice eventually closing it and leading to the tenth round knockout.
Dubois entered the fight having won 14 of 15 by knockout and was the heavy betting favorite for the bookmakers. However, even with many picking Dubois to knock Joyce out before the mid rounds, there were those who felt young Dynamite had skipped a step in his progression and was biting off more than he could chew. Dubois had his jab working strong and was finding a home for his right hand but Joyce lived up to his Juggernaut moniker and was able to stand up to the power. For the first time Dubois met an opponent that not only could take his power but was firing back with a powerful jab of his own.
As expected the critics are out on Dubois after suffering his first defeat, but there isn’t anything for him to be ashamed of in this loss. Yes it’s a loss, but it’s also a learning experience that came in a hard fought battle. At 23, there is plenty of time to heal, rebuild, and apply what he learned Saturday to future bouts.
What’s Next for Joyce: Experience counts. For a lot. Joyce let it be known that while the power of Dubois was real, it wasn’t anything that he hadn’t seen before. The way he handled it let’s me know he wasn’t just blowing smoke.
It’s possible that the 35 year old owns the best chin in the Heavyweight division right now and that combined with his amateur pedigree, which includes an Olympic silver medal, can make things in the division interesting over the next couple of years.
So what’s next for Joyce? How about a matchup with Oleksandr Usyk whom Joyce lost to in the World Series of Boxing in 2013. The win over Dubois puts Joyce at #2 behind Usyk for WBO title honors. I think everyone would be up for that matchup.
This Week’s Action: We’re set for the long awaited return of unified Welterweight Champion Errol Spence Jr, who has been out of the ring for 15 months following injuries suffered in a car accident in 2019. Spence will be taking on former two division Champion Danny Garcia Saturday night at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.