Daniel Dubois is back in business. The former British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion rebounded from his first career loss to London rival Joe Joyce last November with a morale-boosting second-round knockout of Romanian fringe contender Bogdan Dinu at the Telford International Centre on Saturday night.
In his first fight with new trainer Shane McGuigan, Dubois (16-1, 15 KOs) earned the WBA Interim title and a probable shot at the sanctioning body’s Regular champion Trevor Bryan. The South Londoner is right back in the heavyweight picture and has cause for optimism with the shrewd McGuigan fine-tuning his skills.
After winning the opening round with his sharper work, Dubois immediately upped the ante in the early skirmishes of the second and the Romanian folded in rapid fashion. The Greenwich puncher backed Dinu (20-3, 16 KOs) to the ropes and unleashed a short but sharp right hand that dropped the visitor heavily. Dinu never looked like beating referee Marcus McDonnell’s count.
When the fight was waved off, the look on Dubois’ face was a mixture of jubilation and relief following his recuperation from a fractured orbital bone that ended his fight with Joyce and also threatened to finish his career. Dubois can bang, he can box and, at 23, he has plenty of time on his side, eye issues permitting.
“It has been a rough ride and I am glad to be back,” Dubois told Steve Bunce of BT Sport. “There were little thoughts going through my head [about the Joyce defeat], but I listened to what Shane told me and stuck to his instructions.
“I want to get back in the mix and taking things easy with Shane and learning new things. We are going to get there. Whoever they bring for me, I will knock them all down. I want to clear that up [the Joyce defeat], I need to set it right.”
A showdown with unbeaten American Bryan seems far more likely and Dubois’ promoter Frank Warren will be aiming to make that bout next.
“Don King has got that fighter, so that is what we will work towards,” Warren told BT Sport. “If [Dubois] is not capable of beating Trevor Bryan, we are all wasting our time. He’s more than capable of it.”
Earlier, light-heavyweight prospect Tommy Fury extended his winning run to six with a clear but competitive win over previously unbeaten Scot Jordan Grant. Referee Shaun Messer scored 40-36.
Grant (2-1, 0 KOs) was aggressive but his industry lacked accuracy. The more cultured Fury (6-0, 4 KOs) employed his jab and better boxing to pick his shots more adeptly. Throwing wilder shots, the Scot began to tire and Fury sealed his superiority with his more precise work in the closing stages.
Meanwhile, Stoke’s popular middleweight Nathan Heaney (12-0, 4 KOs) delighted his legion of boisterous fans with a third round, body-shot dismissal of Bulgarian Iliyan Markov.
Main image: Queensberry Promotions.