Daniel Dubois’ promoter Frank Warren hasn’t taken kindly to former cruiserweight champion Johnny Nelson suggesting there is ‘quit’ in his British heavyweight hopeful.
Nelson’s analysis must stem from the 25-year-old’s only career loss against Joe Joyce back in 2020 when the Olympian’s solid jabs eventually closed the eye of Dubois and forced him to take a knee, followed by a 10 count in the 10th round.
In his latest bout, Dubois showed more guile, battling through a clear knee injury and rising from three first-round knockdowns to stop Kevin Lerena in round three.
Speaking to Boxing Social for Gareth A Davies’ Fight Club, Warren passionately defended his man.
“Contrary to what Johnny Nelson said the other day, which I thought was disgraceful, talking about [Dubois being] a bottle job. This is a guy who ripped all his tendons in his leg. He went down three times in that fight, his last fight.
The first one was a genuine knockdown, caught on the top of the head, very early in the fight in the first round. After that, he tore his ligaments and fought on with that and then stops the guy and then had operations after that. Bottle jobs?”
Warren goes on to recall a fight Nelson had against Carlos De León in Sheffield, calling it “the most boring fight he’s ever seen,” before questioning the long-reigning cruiserweight champion’s own heart.
“I’ll tell you how much commitment he put into that fight, he was backing off him all the time, he didn’t show any heart in that fight. He managed to fight three weeks later, that’s how much heart he put into it.”
Warren says he was ready to drop Nelson from his promotional company after that.
“If it wasn’t for [Prince] Naz who brought him to me and asked me to promote him, which I didn’t want to after what I’d seen, [I wouldn’t have.] I made his matches except for his mandatories and he reigned for seven years under my promotional banner.
And the job he has at Sky is because of me. So he’s a very lucky guy and to start calling people bottle jobs, he needs to look in the mirror.”
With his next fight being a shot at the three heavyweight world title belts held by Oleksandr Usyk, Dubois has the perfect chance to prove just how much he wants it in the sport.