Don’t Blink: Dubois vs. Snijders could be over quickly

Dubois left with far more straightforward assignment against Snijders after Pfeifer pulls out, writes Matt Bozeat

AFTER
Joe Joyce bombed out Michael Wallisch five weeks ago, it’s over to heavyweight
rival Daniel Dubois on Saturday night. He headlines Queensberry Promotions’
show at BT Sport Studios in a 10 rounder against Ricardo Snijders.

Provided
all goes as expected, Dubois can look ahead to projected date with Joyce on
October 24.

Snijders
is a 26-year-old Dutchman who has stepped in after there were problems with
Erik Pfeifer’s medicals, says Martin Bowers, Dubois’s trainer.

“It’s
not the fight he wanted,” he said, “but who knows, maybe it will be a better
fight. He’s younger, fresher and probably hungrier as well.”

Snijders
is also small. He has won the Dutch heavyweight title in the past but fought
predominantly at cruiserweight until Joel Djeko (15-2-1) snapped his unbeaten
record with a 12-round points win last May.

Djeko
is known to British fans with good memories for dropping a split decision to
Craig Kennedy (14-0) on a Channel Five show four years ago – after twice
decking the Welshman.

Down
in the 10th, Snijders ended up on the wrong end of 117-111 (twice)
and 116-111 scores.

Snidjers
has boxed once since then. Last September he knocked out Istvan Kun (7-13-2)
inside two rounds and weighed 213lbs (15st 3 1/2lbs). It was his seventh inside
the distance win from his last eight victories.

As
an amateur, Snijders was Dutch heavyweight champion in 2015 before turning over
the following January. He won his first 17 before running into Djeko.

We
know that Djeko is a handful – at his weight and level.

Dubois
is a genuine heavyweight and he has real power.

Dubois
had five straight stoppages during a breakthrough 12 months in 2019.

He
walked through the towering Razvan Cojanu (16-5) in under six minutes, survived
a chin check to outslug Richard Lartey (14-1) and then became the third
youngest heavyweight to win the British title by overpowering Nathan Gorman
(16-0), a fight BN (foolishly) tipped him to lose.

That
was followed by blowing out Ebenezer Tetteh – a fighter he dwarfed – in 130
seconds and in his final outing of the year, Dubois ironed out Japan’s Kyotaro
Fujimoto (21-1) inside two rounds.

That
was up there with the most spectacular knockouts on his 14-0 (13) record. It
came when Fujimoto finally stopped moving to launch a right hand – and Dubois
beat him to it. He turned his lights out with a right-hand piledriver of his
own.

“I’ve got some good knockouts,” Dubois told Boxing News. “But I’m not satisfied yet. I want more.”

Bowers
said he was “hoping to get seven rounds out of Pfeifer” and says that is what
his fighter needs.

Dubois
will be rusty having been out since last December, but still, I’m not sure
Snijders will last more than two or three.

“Dubois
looks at his opponents like a hungry man looks at a plate of food,” was how one
trainer put it and that seems a good way of spelling out his attitude to
boxing.

We
can’t be too critical of the matchmaking considering Pfeifer – who would have
been an excellent test – pulled out, but expect Dubois to devour Snijders
early.

As
is usually the way when Dubois fights, box-of-tricks Sunny Edwards fights on
the undercard and the British super-flyweight champion accepts he faces his
hardest test so far against Manchester-based southpaw Thomas Essomba (10-5).

Edwards
was a volunteer at the London Olympics and remembers seeing Essomba push Paddy
Barnes before losing 15-10 when representing Cameroon.

Sunny
has watched Essomba, who also boxed at the 2008 Olympics, in the pros as well
and said: “He’s strong, tough, can punch, take a punch . . . he’s just a good
fighter.”

Good
enough to win the Commonwealth flyweight title and in his last two fights, he’s
snapped the unbeaten records of Sean McGoldrick (9-0) and Iskander Kharsan
(7-0).

Only
championship-level fighters such as Iain Butcher, Jay Harris, Kyle Williams and
Lee McGregor have beaten Essomba and he pushed them all. Opponents say the 30-year-old
is strong, has long arms and can punch. Essomba is also comfortable in both
stances.

Edwards
had a wobble last time out. A flash knockdown against Junior Granados (16-5-1)
aside, Sunny had barely taken a punch as he danced around the flat-footed South
Americans he had been thrown – until he faced Liverpool’s Marcel Braithwaite
(9-1) for the vacant British title at the Copper Box last December.

In
the seventh, Braithwaite was able to time his attack well enough to drop
Edwards.

After
that, Braithwaite loaded up rather too much, Edwards saw his punches coming and
by the end of the eighth he was in charge and on his way to a unanimous points
win.  

Others
have found Edwards hard to hit because he’s forever moving.

The
way Granados and Braithwaite caught him was to punch with Edwards for the brief
moments he held his feet. If you’re a split second too slow pulling the trigger
against Edwards, he won’t be there.

Essomba,
now managed by Errol Johnson, is heavy handed, but can he catch Edwards either
in a cat-and-mouse countering match or by hunting him down and getting his head
on his chest ?

Louis
Norman knows both having sparred Edwards and been knocked out by an Essomba
body shot.

We
go along with his prediction that Edwards wins on points.

The
super-lightweight clash between Sam Maxwell and former European champion Joe
Hughes is a pick ‘em.

From
Malmesbury, Wilts, Hughes (17-5-1) has the better CV and Maxwell acknowledges
as much.

“I
want to be where he is,” said the 30 year-old Liverpudlian, who has a height
advantage of more than two inches.  

Hughes
won his European title in Italy, outpointing Andrea Scarpa (24-2), lost
narrowly to Robbie Davies Jnr (17-1) when looking to add the British championship
and last time out, he was outpointed by the polished and razor sharp Spanish
southpaw Sandor Martin (35-2) in a bid to regain the European belt.

Hughes
has been 12 rounds in five of his last six and everything he’s achieved since
turning over a decade ago, he’s achieved with one hand. Because of a medical
condition, Hughes’ right arm is two-and-a-half inches shorter than his left, so
he barely throws his right. Maxwell (13-0) describes his lead hand as “world
class.”

Trained
by father-in-law Andy O’Kane, Hughes often concedes height and reach to
opponents, but because his timing is so good, he can jab with them and he’s
strong.

Davies,
who ended their fight with his right eye swollen, said Hughes was “a pit
bull.”    

Maxwell
has been rather better protected in his pro career and when he stepped up, he
pulled off that great escape against unknown Frenchman Sabri Sediri (10-0-1),
forcing the late stoppage after being dropped in both the opening rounds.

He
was then too big and strong for Midlander Connor Parker (12-0) in his last
outing and without too much confidence, we go for Maxwell to use his physical
advantages and produce a career-best performance to outpoint Hughes.

THE VERDICT: Get ready for another Dubois highlight reel KO and undercard has some well-matched battles

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