OUR NEW KID ON THE HEAVYWEIGHT BLOCK

posted on: 12/01/2017

By Frank Warren

Daniel Dubois signs with Frank Warren

A heavy consignment of raw fighting talent arrived at our office this week and I am thrilled that we are now charged with the duty of steering the career of young Daniel Dubois.

The 19-year-old really is a hefty unit and quickly stated his intention to light up the heavyweight scene in this country.

He is confident, articulate and charming and an exciting addition to our young squad, who I fully expect will all make big strides over the next year or two.

I really do encourage fans to get behind Daniel from the off because this is a genuine prospect we are about to launch into the pro ranks.

Of course he has got to learn the pro ropes, but it will be an entertaining journey and although Daniel himself has identified the year 2020 as the time for him to become the proud owner of a world title belt, he won’t be rushed by me though.

Daniel was at the head of the Team GB queue to represent the nation at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, the natural successor at super heavyweight to Joe Joyce and Anthony Joshua before him.

The Londoner, however, has made the decision to take the professional plunge and not bide his time on the amateur circuit for the next three and half years or so.

I think he is right. Sticking around for an Olympic cycle is a big commitment in terms of time and, as we saw in Rio, boxers often do not get their just rewards from the judges, which must be so demoralising given they have just devoted a four-stretch to the Olympic cause.

I said after Rio that the next wave of young fighters would be thinking long and hard over whether to sign-up for 2020 after seeing what happened to Michael Conlan among others.

For the elite boys, it is time they can put to productive use in the pros and, after four years, many of them will be operating at world level in the paid code.

Obviously an Olympic medal provides you with a great bargaining chip when you enter the pros, but it really isn’t the be all and end all.

As I have said many times, a lack of Olympic experience didn’t hinder the likes of Ricky Hatton, Joe Calzaghe and Naseem Hamed.

Being a successful Olympian doesn’t provide any guarantees either when you take the step up.

Daniel is in a good position, having regularly enjoyed the experience of sparring with Joshua and Joyce in Sheffield.

I am not going to start telling tales because it wouldn’t be right and I wasn’t there, but let’s just say reports of the spars suggest he more than held his own in there.

As you would imagine, word of Daniel’s emergence and development spread like wildfire throughout the boxing industry and all the usual suspects were jostling to be the ones to promote his career.

I am delighted that he has chosen us and we will carefully navigate his route to the top and take our time with him.

An attraction for him was our track record in developing fighters right from the beginning and, as I have said many times, helping a young prospect become a champion is what I like doing best.

Daniel will be in good company as we have many exciting prospects on our books at the moment who we predict will have big futures in the pro game.

A few names spring to mind, such as Anthony Yarde, Boy Jones Jnr, Zelfa Barrett, Lyon Woodstock, Lerrone Richards, Lucien Reid and Ryan Garner who are all progessing well and offering regular reminders that the future is very bright for British boxing.

We also have another clutch of young amateurs turning over with us in the near future, so there will be plenty to keep tabs on.

There is something about the heavyweights though that seems to catch the imagination of the public and creates a buzz when they are on the bill.

Daniel will be throwing his weight behind our cards soon enough and it is really something to look forward to.

He will be expertly schooled by Martin Bowers at the famous Peacock Gym and, to my mind, Martin is one of the top trainers out there.

He did such a good job transforming the fortunes of Ovill McKenzie before his unfortunate enforced retirement, while another he tutors is the quick fisted and nimble footed super welterweight Ahmet Patterson.

Remember the name, Daniel Dubois – or Double-D as he will probably end up becoming known as – will be well worth a watch when he debuts on BoxNation and BT Sport.

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