Great Britain

Joe Joyce hopes pint-sized coach’s new eight-inch Cuban heels can help him topple Daniel Dubois

JOE JOYCE is banking on a set of specially-imported eight-inch Cuban heels helping him topple Daniel Dubois on Saturday.

The 35-year-old Putney ace has been separated from US-based coach Ismael Salas for most of lockdown, relying on Zoom calls to keep in touch with the celebrated 5ft 6in trainer.

But the 2016 Olympic silver winner has finally managed to have the little mastermind fly over to finish off the crucial camp and the 6ft 6in Juggernaut has been able to do pads with his platform-booted mentor

Joyce said: “It’s been great to finally have got Salas over here.

“I’ve been doing great work with my other coach on the pads while Salas has been away and I’ve been sending him clips of my sparring and training and the team has been talking on FaceTime.

“Salas has done lots behind the scenes but it’s good to have him here in person because he’s really hands on with his training, with the pads and his high heels.

“From the first time back in the gym he just brought it back to the fundamentals and just built it up from there, to get my technique back in line and refine things.

“And now we actually have a gameplan that we’re working to.”

If Joyce's masterplan backfires, the 11-0 powerhouse will only have himself to blame.

Before being robbed of a gold at the Rio games he sparred a skinny, less confident, teenage version of Dubois and gave him some expert advice that led to this crossroads.

The 2020 Olympics Dubois would have targeted have been delayed by the pandemic and instead he the British and Commonwealth champ is headlining a show on the same night as the man Joyce told him to model his career on.

"I remember giving him advice because he was thinking of turning pro" Joyce recalls. "And he was basically asking what I thought.

"I said you can either stay on to potentially fight at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, or you can do a Mike Tyson route and turn pro early.

"He seems to have taken that advice and turned pro and it seems to be good that he didn’t stay, because he’s 15-0, he’s having a good career so far and things are looking up

"Dubois could have still been on Team GB with no potential for the Olympics. Instead, he seems to have done well. Until he agreed to fight me."

Daniel Dubois vs Joe Joyce promo

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