In April, the British heavyweight division will welcome a new fighter, a fighter with the potential to dominate the scene – Daniel Dubois.
A former national junior and British senior champion, Dubois started boxing at an early age, frequenting a number of gym’s in London, including the Peacock Gym in East London – it was here that he met boxing coach, Martin Bowers.
“Daniel’s dad Dave used to use The Peacock, and he would have first brought Daniel to the gym when he was six or seven,” said Bowers. “He was always a big kid.
“He is definitely a prospect, and I believe I got him at the right age. You know what they say about not being able to teach an old dog new tricks. It is far better to get a kid relatively fresh when they have no habits rather than bad habits which can be very difficult to eliminate.
“For the kid’s sake, I don’t want to say too much as I don’t want to put unnecessary pressure on him. I believe we’ve got a very gifted kid on our hands. We have got the embryo to model something really nice. Provided he’s matched and promoted correctly – and he’s in the very best hands – we feel we’ve half a chance with him but it ain’t half a long road!
“The obvious thing is how ridiculously powerful he is for someone so young. He’s 104 kilos of pure granite. There’s a real thud reverberating around the gym every time he smashes the heavy bag, and he really scorches my hands when I take him on the pads. Remember, the kid’s just 19. Lord, knows how destructive he’ll be at 24, 25.
“On the GB camps, he’s sparred [Anthony] Joshua, Joe Joyce, and Frazer Clarke. You’ll have heard all the rumours! Recently, I took him to Brighton to spar Nick Webb and Scott Welch’s son. By all accounts, he acquitted himself very well in every instance. He’s gonna grow into a very good fighter.
“He’s 104 kilos of pure granite. There’s a real thud reverberating around the gym every time he smashes the heavy bag”
“Obviously there’s plenty we still have to iron out, but he’s blessed with a lovely natural jab, and he’s got a good eye. He’s got nice speed, already punches very correctly and has good balance.
“Previously I worked with a heavyweight called Wayne Llewellyn, who I took all over Europe and the States, and he had the potential to be a very decent prospect. Unfortunately, he was more concerned with how his hair, his shorts, his boots looked than what he had to do to win the fight. This kid’s different. Already he’s got great concentration and focus.
“Above all, Daniel’s a very nice boy, willing to learn, a good listener, never moans. He’s not at all big headed and he’s never a bully in sparring. He thanks his opponents after fights. He’s a good liver, perfect role model material.
“Personality-wise, he reminds me of a Joe Louis, walking around with this permanent smile on his face like Orville! You’ll not find him slapping faces at press conferences or spitting water in opponent’s faces. He’ll sell himself on his qualities as a fighter rather than the back of something else. We’re trusting that the British fight fans will follow a good fighter rather than someone on a soapbox. Restoring a bit of respectability to boxing certainly, won’t hurt.
“At this early stage, I’ll be keen to get him out a minimum of six times a year, and we’ll not be looking to run too fast because you don’t know what his nerves will be like. The two things we’ll definitely be anxious to avoid are overmatching him and undermatching him. It’s crucial he gets the right fights. But, it promises to be a very exciting journey. We’re gonna have some real fun with him!”
Dubois will make his professional debut on a card headed by WBO lightweight champion, Terry Flanagan, who defends his crown against Petr Petrov at the Manchester Arena on April 8th.
Also on the undercard; super-welterweights Liam Smith and Liam Williams will square off in a highly anticipated domestic scrap, Zolani Tete meets Arthur Villanueva in a final eliminator for the WBO Bantamweight crown and Nicola Adams makes her professional debut.