The Big Question: Can Daniel Dubois become world heavyweight champion with Shane McGuigan?

Just seven months ago, fast-rising contender Daniel Dubois was plotting a course for a world heavyweight championship when disaster struck against London rival Joe Joyce.

With Joyce excelling behind the jab, Dubois took a knee and was counted out in the 10th round to preserve a grievously damaged left eye. Subsequent tests showed Dubois had suffered a broken eye socket and wisely stayed down to preserve his long-term career.

But after a 15-fight winning run and considerable hype, Dubois was back among the chasing pack. Following his recuperation from that eye damage, the Greenwich man sought a fresh direction with manager Martin Bowers stepping aside from training duties. After initially seeming he would join the respected Mark Tibbs, Dubois found a new home with Shane McGuigan and this intriguing new partnership will make their debut when the former British and Commonwealth champion meets Romanian Bogdan Dinu in Telford this Saturday.

The astute McGuigan has tasted glory on the world stage with Josh Taylor, Carl Frampton, George Groves and most recently Lawrence Okolie, but can he help realise Dubois’ potential and turn him into a legitimate world champion? Boxing Social’s team weigh in with their answer to ‘The Big Question’.

McGuigan is a top class trainer and I like Dubois. The Londoner has the physical attributes required for success and an excellent work ethic. However I think he may lack the hand speed and guile required to land fight-ending shots at the very highest level. So my hunch is that he may just fall short at world level. However, I would be delighted to be proved wrong – as I often have been in the past! – Luke G. Williams.

He’s still young, has a destructive record behind him and only has one loss against a decent fighter. He can certainly come back and mix it at higher level…..as long as he’s able to make those all important adjustments, such as moving his head, lateral movement and footwork. McGuigan is the man for the job. Whether DDD can make it to world level? After only one loss, it’s a bit soon to cast that judgement. At present, no, but he could certainly develop into contender material. – Paul Zanon.

Possibly. McGuigan has improved almost every fighter he has worked with and I’m sure Dubois will become a better boxer under his tutelage. However, I am struggling to think of a fighter that was ever as good (never mind better) as they were pre-injury after sustaining a fractured orbital bone. My gut tells me DDD will not be able to buck that trend, but by teaming up with McGuigan, he has given himself the best possible chance. – John A. MacDonald.

Yes. Once Joshua and Fury have faded and handed the baton to the new crop of heavyweights, Dubois will be right there with the best of them. He lost to Joe Joyce and has taken time to lick his wounds, but if McGuigan can make him more mobile, slicker, smarter, then there’s nothing to stop him smashing his way to a legitimate world title. The danger with monstrous, muscular heavyweights is that their cardio can always be questioned – it will be interesting to see how Dubois grows into his career, but I’ll say yes, he can do it.– Craig Scott.

The heavyweight division hasn’t had depth for some time and that doesn’t appear likely to change in the medium term. Dubois is still very early in his career and development and showed enough pre ‘juggernaut’ to suggest he can pick up world honours. Still plenty of work to be done however. – James Oddy.

One loss is not a career obituary, but it will depend on how that eye holds up under scrutiny. It’s a long road ahead. But Dubois is giving himself the best chance possible with McGuigan who improves every fighter, the mark of a top coach. At 23, there is no immediate rush with Dubois. He can afford to wait until the old guard move on. Dubois could still make the big breakthrough if McGuigan works his magic. – Mark Butcher.

Main image: Queensberry Promotions.