RIGHT FROM THE beginning of his professional journey, Daniel Dubois had been widely considered to be a world champion in waiting. This prediction came true with a resounding victory over the previously unbeaten Trevor Bryan to win the WBA world heavyweight title in June of 2022.
At the beginning of December he made a first defence of his prized WBA belt against the dangerous South African Kevin Lerena and ultimately prevailed via a third round stoppage.
At just 19, with limited senior amateur experience under his belt, Dubois took the plunge into the professional ranks when it was thought by many that he would carry the nation’s heavyweight hopes into the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and follow in the medal-winning footsteps of Anthony Joshua and Joe Joyce.
In December 2016 Dubois won his first senior domestic title at the GB Boxing Championships at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield before making his decision to join forces with Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren in the professional ranks.
Dubois made a prompt start to his professional career with a clubbing finish to see off the threat of Marcus ‘Caveman’ Kelly on his debut. The Hulk-like teenager took just 40 seconds to blow away the Truro slugger issue a warning to the division that a new threat was in town.
In his second professional contest he blasted out former Olympian and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Blaise Mendouo with another blistering knockout. Early in the second round a huge right cross and heavy left hook dropped Mendouo into the ropes to earn another impressive win.
He then made easy work of Sheffield’s Dave Howe at London’s Copper Box Arena to move to 3-0. It took Dubois just 40 seconds to demolish Howe with a powerful right hand.
Dubois claimed the Youth World Heavyweight title after easing past the challenge of Mauricio Barragan in London. He maintained his perfect record of four wins and four knock- outs after dropping his opponent twice inside two rounds.
The Southern Area title was next for Dubois and he sealed his first domestic belt with a brutal first round KO of fellow Londoner AJ Carter, moving on to record KO wins over Dorian Darch and DL Jones.
The next title was won via defeat of Tom Little in the 5th round to win the vacant English heavyweight title, before he was moved up a level to take on American veteran and former world title challenger Kevin Johnson. It was the first time Dubois was taken the distance as a professional, comfortably beating him 100-91 on the scorecard.
The still unbeaten Dubois demonstrated that he belongs amongst the world’s elite fighters when he faced California-based Romanian Razvan Cojanu at the Royal Albert Hall, flooring the former world title challenger in the second round before applying the finish and another memorable KO.
Dubois’ next test was against a dangerous foe in Richard Lartey in April 2019 in what was a thrilling exhibition of power-punching. The Ghanaian came to win and there were several brutal exchanges before he suffered defeat by TKO in the fourth round.
This huge talent cemented his place among the stars of British boxing when he headlined at the O2 Arena in the July against stablemate Nathan Gorman for the British Heavyweight Championship.
Dubois was the one who protected his unbeaten record with a pulsating performance that resulted in a fifth round finish and the title of new British heavyweight champion. The vacant Commonwealth title was added to Dubois’ ever-increasing collection of belts in September 2019 when he returned to the Royal Albert Hall and destroyed the previously unbeaten Ebeneezer Tetteh in the opening round.
In December of 2019, Dubois extended his workload to the second round at the Copper Box, but his Japanese opponent, Kyotaro Fujimoto, was brutally dispatched and Dubois became the proud holder of the WBC Silver title, to go along with his WBO International belt.
To keep busy after the lockdown period, Dubois took on Ricardo Snijders at the BT Studio, with the 18-1 Dutchman having been drafted in as a late replacement. Dubois targeted the body and Snijders folded 20 seconds into the second round.
The single blot on the Dubois CV came at the end of 2020 when he went up against fellow Brit Joe Joyce, with five titles at stake including the European championship belt. Dubois came off second best following a horrific eye injury that forced him to take a knee, while ahead on the cards in the 10th round.
Upon returning to the ring, Dubois flattened Bogdan Dinu in the second round to win the WBA Interim world title and then introduced himself to an American audience with a first round demolition of Joe Cusumano last time out in August 2021.
His world title success in Miami – that took just four rounds – has perfectly positioned the young London to propel himself into the world elite mix of heavyweight operators.
Against Lerena Dubois was forced to show great resilience in front of nearly 60,000 fans at London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Lerena caught him with a shot on top of the head in round one that put Dubois to the floor and a knee injury sustained during this period of action saw him go down a further two times in the round.
He made a spectacular recovery and put Lerena down in the third before a further barrage of heavy shots saw referee Howard Foster saved Lerena from further punishment.
His following fight Dubois would as mandatory challenger take on the unified Heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk in front of a patriotic Ukrainian crowd in Wroclaw. Daniel would land a blow which dropped the Ukrainan, the referee would judge it to be a low-blow with many ringside disagreeing calling it a legitimate shot. Dubois would later himself be stopped in the later rounds.
His comeback fight would take place on the ‘Day of Reckoning’ in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Daniel would face the brash unbeaten Jarell Miller. A convincing stoppage win over the highly rated American set Dubois once again a seat at the top Heavyweight table.