Newly crowned British heavyweight champion Daniel Dubois is eyeing bigger victories, bigger glory. Still only 21 years old and just 12-0(11) as a pro, Dubois is nevertheless confident he has a real shot at becoming a world champion before the end of next year. As talented as he is, as powerful as he is and as hungry and dedicated as he is, this does seem to be a real possibility.
“It’s definitely a possibility that I could be world champion next year,” Dubois said. “Now the division has opened up and the belts could soon be up for grabs. If I can get in there and knuckle down, I think I can definitely be in with a chance of getting a world title fight. Maybe that will be by the end of next year. I feel I’m the most exciting prospect in heavyweight boxing. I was definitely born for this.”
The tough part might well prove to be Dubois actually getting a title shot. Right now, all four major belts, WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO, are held by two fighters: Andy Ruiz and Deontay Wilder, while Tyson Fury is the claimant of the lineal title. Of course anything can happen in the land of the giants, and maybe Ruiz, if he can beat Anthony Joshua again, will look at making an optional defence against Dubois. This does seem unlikely, though, seeing how Ruiz has made it clear that if (he says “when”) he beats AJ again, he will look to get it on with Wilder in a massive unification clash.
Fury could of course grant the young buck a shot, but this seems even more unlikely than Ruiz fighting Dubois next year. Both Fury and Dubois share the same promoter in Frank Warren and it seems doubtful Warren would look to match them together. But again, anything can happen.
In any case, Dubois needs more fights, more experience and more competitive rounds before he’s ready for the elite. Some good fighters that would make good opposition for Dubois are guys like Charles Martin, Gerald Washington, Christian Hammer and maybe the winner of the upcoming Dereck Chisora-Artur Szpilka fight; or of course another big domestic clash could happen for Dubois, this one with Joe Joyce.
So far only one man has taken Dubois the distance, this being the clever, tricky and ultra-experienced Kevin Johnson. As powerful as he is, it could be that Dubois is not extended into the 11th and 12th rounds until he does get that world title shot. Maybe not even then. Frank Warren says Dubois is the future of the heavyweight division, and maybe he is. His time will come, but this will perhaps not be as soon as 2020.