Joe Joyce is the British, Commonwealth and European heavyweight champion after stopping Daniel Dubois in their long-awaited showdown.

The 35-year-old put all his ring-craft and all those championship rounds to use to stop his man in the 10th as Dubois went down on one knee and then failed to get up following a jab to the eye.

It looked innocuous in isolation, and BT Sport pundit David Haye accused Dubois of quitting. But the younger man had spent all 10 rounds receiving sharp jabs to his left eye, which had closed up fully when he failed to make the count.

“What can I say, he caught me with a good jab,” said Dubois. “I can’t explain it. I couldn’t see out of it. I was trying my best. I’m a tough guy, I’ll come again for sure.”

Joyce’s experience and composure shone through as he weathered an early storm from his opponent, who had finished his previous three bouts before the third round.

The discipline and jab of the older man, who won a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics, proved the difference with Dubois, 23, unable to see out of his left eye by the end of the fight after it was repeatedly targeted.

Victory puts Joyce in the mix for potential fights with the best of a stacked heavyweight division while casting doubts as to the future of Dubois, odds-on coming in and touted as one of the big prospects in British boxing.

“I was glad it was over,” said Joyce, when asked to assess the bizarre ending to a fascinating fight. “I’ve taken some big shots and respect to Daniel, he’s got some power. He’s young, he’s fresh, he’s hungry, and he can come again.

“I’m blessed with a good chin, I can keep going. I was happy to take it.

“I felt (the jab) landed. I started looking at that eye and it was starting to swell up. I felt quite comfortable landing it.”

Promoter Frank Warren said: “The eye was obviously a massive problem. It was what it was. I said at the beginning of the fight, it’s a battle of the jabs. I thought it was pretty even, there was nothing in it.”

Joyce told BT Sport that he wants Oleksandr Usyk next. Where Dubois goes is as clear as his vision come the 10th round and his first taste of defeat.