Since Daniel Dubois entered a boxing hall with his father for the first time as a child, he has been touted for his success. A win in Saturday’s fight against Joe Joyce will bring him one step closer.
A win against Joyce (11-0.10 KO) will build his reputation and open a new level in heavyweight for him. This could mean “more fights, more belts and more money,” Dubois told ESPN.
“When I was probably 6 years old my father came to watch me train,” said Dubois. “He would tell people about me and say that one day I would be world heavyweight champion.”
The 23-year-old Briton’s journey to this point has not been easy. Since his professional debut at the Manchester Arena against Tom Little in 2017, he has fought a collection of Division fighters. and in the three years since then he has claimed the heavyweight titles of British, Commonwealth, WBC Silver and WBO International.
“I watch one fight at a time. This is a top fight and I will be bringing my A-game. I look forward to putting on a show,” he added.
The heavyweight division is already talented, however, and Britain has a huge stake in the top fighters – Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury, Dillian Whyte and Derek Chisora.
But only a few can boast a knockout record like Dubois (15: 0, 14 KO), who has stopped all but one opponent in his 15 professional fights.
The Greenwich-born boxer’s knockout rate of 92.9% is higher than that of IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO heavyweight defending champions Joshua (91%) and WBC Champion Fury (63%).
Even so, the heavyweight path is a familiar one, and questions can linger, just like Joshua, Fury, and Whyte are in difficult times.
Dubois has already played the full scheduled rounds in his professional career against Kevin Johnson in 2018, when Joshua fought 20 fights to show his perseverance against Joseph Parker.
While Joshua won Olympic gold as an amateur, Dubois lost three of his five amateur fights, including two by decision.
Joyce has fought his own doubters and will try to clear the criticism just like Dubois.
The duo are the “maybe” men of the heavyweight division ready to move up to the international level if they should win the other night of the fight.
Dubois will step into the ring knowing that the world is his oyster when his arm is raised after the final bell, but he will also step into the ring knowing that he is facing an opponent who is the same is deadly like him.