Since Daniel Dubois first stepped into a boxing gym as a child with his father, he has been touted for success. A win in Saturday’s fight against Joe Joyce will bring him one step closer.
A victory against Joyce (11-0,10 KO) will bolster his reputation, unlocking a new level for him in the heavyweight division, and could mean “more fights, more belts and more money,” Dubois told ESPN.
“When I was probably 6 years old, my dad came along to watch me train,” Dubois said. “He would tell people about me and say I was going to be heavyweight champion of the world one day.”
The 23-year-old Brit’s journey to this point hasn’t been straightforward. He has fought a collection of the division’s fighters since his professional debut at the Manchester Arena against Tom Little in 2017; and in the three years since, he claimed the British, Commonwealth, WBC Silver, and WBO International heavyweight titles.
“I look at one fight at a time. This is a top fight, and I’ll bring my A game. I’m looking forward to putting on a show,” he added.
However, the heavyweight division is one already stacked with talent, and Britain has a large share of the top fighters — Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury, Dillian Whyte and Derek Chisora.
But few can boast a knockout record like Dubois (15-0, 14 KO), who has stopped all but one of his opponents in his 15 professional fights.
The Greenwich-born boxer’s 92.9% knockout rate is higher than both IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO heavyweight titleholder Joshua (91%) and WBC champion Fury (63%).
That said, the path is a familiar one in the heavyweight division, and questions can linger, the same as Joshua, Fury and Whyte have have had during troublesome times.
Dubois has fought the full scheduled rounds once so far in his professional career against Kevin Johnson in 2018, just as Joshua took 20 fights to show his stamina against Joseph Parker.
While Joshua won Olympic gold as an amateur, Dubois lost three of his five amateur bouts including two by decision.
Joyce has battled his own doubters and will be looking to settle the critiques as much as Dubois.
The duo are the heavyweight division’s “maybe” men, poised to progress to the international level should they claim victory over the other come fight night.
Dubois will enter the ring knowing the world is his oyster if his arm is raised aloft after the final bell, but he will also enter the ring with the knowledge he faces an opponent who is as deadly as he is.