By Frank Warren
BY BEATING THE champion Trevor Bryan to take ownership of the WBA world championship belt on Saturday night, Daniel Dubois acquired a golden key to the heavyweight kingdom.
That is what it was all about. Yes, he does hold a version of the heavyweight world titles but, for Daniel, it is more a ticket to further glory in a more fitting setting next time.
Just to be clear on this because I have heard a few rumbles of discontent surrounding the event in Florida. Don King won a purse bid for the rights to stage the fight and where and how he chose to do it was up to him.
The only part we played, along with BT Sport, was ensuring the fight was delivered live, at no extra cost and at a reasonable hour for BT’s subscribers. For Daniel and his team it was just a case of getting the job done and then heading home with the spoils.
Daniel did what we expected him to do in overcoming an unbeaten but limited champion but, more importantly, he has secured a place right at the front of the queue to fight for unified championships a little further down the line.
With Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk now having effectively parked up three quarters of the heavyweight prizes for the best part of 18 months, there will be no voluntary concessions afforded to the winner when they finally get it on again.
If the victor doesn’t get ordered to face Daniel, they will be up against Joe Joyce. The only fight that can kick this can a little further down the road would be an undisputed fight with our WBC champion Tyson Fury.
This is the bottom line. Daniel, via the WBA, and Joe with his WBO top billing are in position awaiting the call to challenge for heavyweight supremacy.
This hasn’t happened by accident, we have played our cards carefully in cutting through the politics of the division to ensure our fighters are at the head of the queue. We have got our tactics right and I don’t believe any promotional company is in a healthier spot when it comes to the heavyweights.
It is fantastic for BT Sport too, to have Tyson – depending on his next move – with his WBC, Ring Magazine belt and lineal status, followed by the WBA champion in Daniel and Joe as WBO No.1.
This next generation of heavyweights, headed by Daniel and Joe, are going to enliven the scene in the months and years to come.
As for Daniel, with the unified rematch not happening until the back end of August, we intend to keep him busy until all the pieces fall into place and he will be back in action in September. Joe will return to the ring after his injury on July 2 at the OVO Arena, Wembley, before taking on a more significant assignment, also in September.
Daniel had to employ considerable patience waiting for the Bryan fight to come to fruition because, taking another fight would have enabled the Bryan camp to continue delaying. It has proved worth the wait but he cannot be denied now as long as he keeps on winning so we can keep him in meaningful fights, the same with Joe.
Another of our number in a similar position is Anthony Yarde at light heavyweight. Our man holds the No.1 spot with the WBO and he is heading over to the US this weekend to take in the unification battle between Artur Beterbiev and Joe Smith jr ahead of facing the winner in October, which will be ordered by the WBO.
With Daniel, Joe and Anthony – not forgetting Zach Parker too and David Avanesyan – all on the cusp of major world title action, the end of this year and beginning of next will be an exciting time for the leading lights of the Queensberry brigade.