Croatian heavyweight Filip Hrgovic recalls sparring with Daniel Dubois some years ago and doesn’t have too much praise for the British world title challenger.
Dubois has his biggest test to date on August 26 when he faces Oleksandr Usyk for the IBF, WBA and WBO world title belts in Poland. Many think he has little more than a puncher’s chance.
Hrgovic, meanwhile, got a controversial win over Chinese heavyweight Zhilei Zhang in August 2022 which resulted in the IBF ordering their champion Usyk to enter mandatory negotiations with him. Hrgovic opted to forgo that and instead head straight to a purse bid.
In the meantime, the IBF rescinded the order as they accepted that the WBA was next in the rotation of mandatory title defences so Hrgović will instead fight Demsey McKean on the undercard of Anthony Joshua vs Dillian Whyte 2 on August 12.
Speaking to Wasserman Boxing, Hrgovic assesses Dubois.
“I spared Daniel in London a few years ago, and I am confident of winning that fight if that fight happens. He’s a solid fighter but I don’t rate him in the Top 5 or Top 10 heavyweights. He’s a solid big guy, a solid puncher, but I don’t rate him so highly. I’m very confident if that fight happens I beat him.”
He then goes on to call Usyk a future Hall of Fame fighter.
“He’s fast, very good footwork, great conditioning, he throws a lot of punches, but I think my style will give him problems because I’m bigger than him. I also can throw a lot of punches, I think I can give him big problems. For a big guy, I’m fast enough to fight him and when you see for example the fight with Joshua, Joshua put pressure on him and went to the body and he won the round, but Joshua didn’t have enough endurance and stamina to keep up that pace. I think I have much better endurance to give Usyk much more problems.”
Before any fight down the line, he must first overcome the stuff challenge of unbeaten Australian McKean.