Most in the sport believe Daniel Dubois has it all to do when he challenges for Oleksandr Usyk’s unified heavyweight titles on August 26 in Poland.
The 25-year-old is the WBA mandatory challenger and therefore gets a shot at not only that belt, but the IBF and WBO too.
It will be Usyk’s second defence of the titles following his rematch with Anthony Joshua, and he welcomes Dubois to the very top level of the sport after the Brit’s previous step up against Joe Joyce ended in defeat.
With a new trainer and coming off the back of a relatively shaky performance, Dubois has the opportunity to produce an incredible heavyweight upset on away soil.
Audley Harrison – a pioneering British heavy – gave his advice to ‘Dynamite’ Dubois via Twitter.
“The way you beat Usyk (just like how I beat Lezin) is with educated pressure.
You can’t walk in and land a shot, you need to take away his strengths; add feinting, take away his jab, step around, hit body, hip and arms repeatedly (high tempo) high volume jabs, he won’t see RIGHT.”
Harrison references his bout with Alexei Lezin at the 2000 Olympics. The stoppage win – later contested by the Russian – saw the Brit progress to the quarter finals. He would go onto win gold.
Usyk has a gold medal of his own, won twelve years later, that many believe is the basis of a strong argument that he will comfortably outbox Dubois.
The Ukrainian has rarely, if ever, been truly hurt as a professional, even whilst making his way through a tough cruiserweight division and moving up to defeat unified heavyweight champion and big hitter, Joshua.
Dubois, then, enters the ring an underdog – but an extremely live one with a big, game-changing punch.