IF Tyson Fury’s decision to appoint Freddie Roach as cut man was an attempt to spook WBC world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, his next opponent, it seems to have failed.
Wilder, set to defend his title against Fury in Los Angeles on December 1, is respectful of Roach’s knowledge and achievements, but unsure whether he’ll add much to the Fury corner on the night of the fight.
“This is the biggest fight of his life to date and if I was him I would be trying to reach out to any resources when you are dealing with one of the most dangerous men in the boxing game,” said the Alabama puncher.
“I would have been more happy with Peter (Fury, Tyson’s uncle and previous trainer). That is who he really needs. His only name has been Klitschko, but Peter was the one that was with him for that. Peter knows him, in and out.
“When you start getting multiple trainers, that is nervous behaviour.”
Wilder’s constant prodding of the Peter Fury spot is an interesting one. He clearly rates Tyson’s old coach, that much is beyond doubt, but, in bringing it up at every opportunity, Wilder is also reminding Fury that he currently lacks the calming influence who helped him conquer Wladimir Klitschko in 2015. Whether by design or not, it’s a clever ploy.
“I like Ben (Davison) as a person,” said Wilder, referring to Tyson’s new trainer. “I don’t know what he is like as a trainer. I don’t know his levels. We had never heard of him before but that means nothing. You can have an unknown be the greatest alive.
“It all depends on how Fury takes it. It can work for him because more brains is better than one. But it could go against him because it could be too many chiefs. All of them have egos except Ben. He is new and this is his first big fight.
“Even though he is head trainer he might take some steps back for these experienced trainers. It can be an advantage or a disadvantage.”
Wilder, of course, has a similar set up. He has Jay Deas. He has Mark Breland. But when the first bell rings and Wilder sets about his opponent, it’s as if he’s making it up as he goes along, as if plans are pointless. He also invariably wins – by knockout.
It’s been an interesting 24 hours for the Dubois family.
First, there was the news that heavyweight prospect Daniel Dubois has been ordered to fight fellow prospect Nathan Gorman in an eliminator for the British heavyweight title.
Announced yesterday, this fight is now out to purse bids and must be arranged before the end of March 2019. Whether it happens or not, given both are handled by the same promoter (Frank Warren), is anyone’s guess, but there’s nothing wrong with suspending disbelief for a moment.
It’s a hell of a fight, too. Dubois, unbeaten in nine, with eight knockouts, is only 21 yet boasts a maturity and poise that belies his age. The English champion also whacks as hard as any young heavyweight out there right now.
The 14-0 (11) Gorman, on the other hand, though perhaps not the puncher of the two, definitely possesses the edge in speed and combination punching and moves with all the smoothness of a man from a lower weight class.
In terms of a style blend, it’s hard to think of many more intriguing on the domestic heavyweight scene. (Just don’t get your hopes up that it happens any time soon.)
Dubois’ sister, Caroline, meanwhile, was named the winner of SportsAid’s prestigious One-to-Watch Award at the charity’s annual SportsBall celebration last night (November 15).
The talented 17-year-old amateur boxer was presented with the award, previously won by the likes of Tom Daley, Hollie Arnold, Harry Martin and Morgan Lake, by Olympic gold medallist Greg Rutherford after a sensational year which saw her win women’s -60kg gold at the Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games, the AIBA Youth World Championships and the EUBC European Youth Continental Championships.
Caroline edged out rower Calvin Tarczy, 18, and track and field athlete Dominic Ogbechie, 16, who finished in second and third respectively.
“It’s amazing to be named the winner of SportsAid’s One-to-Watch Award – it just shows that all the hard work and effort I’ve been putting in is finally paying off,” said Caroline, unbeaten in 35 fights.
“It’s so exciting to get the recognition and the appreciation and I’m really, really grateful for it. It means a lot.”
The One-to-Watch Award has gained a strong reputation for identifying the best up-and-coming prospects in Britain since its launch in 2006. Previous winners have already amassed 38 senior medals from Olympic and Paralympic Games, World and European Championships, as well as Commonwealth Games, to establish themselves as household names.
“I knew that I had tough opposition and I don’t really know what I was thinking when I was announced as the winner,” added Caroline, who will now be provided with one-year kit support from Nike.
“I’m really happy and excited. I’ve had a very hard and busy year. I’ve had three major tournaments and so I’ve been competing and training a lot. It’s incredible to see myself up alongside the likes of Tom Daley and other great athletes.”
There’s definitely something in the Dubois genes.