DANIEL DUBOIS takes the next step up the ladder towards heavyweight contention when he tops Frank Warren’s promotion at the Royal Albert Hall tomorrow (Friday September 27).
Waiting in the other corner will be Ghana’s Ebenezer Tetteh, with the vacant Commonwealth heavyweight title on the line. It will be televised on BT Sport in the UK and streamed live on ESPN+ in the USA.
Dubois, still only 22, has generated much excitement in his short pro career, which has seen him win all 12 fights, 11 inside the distance.
At 6ft 5ins and about 240lbs (17st 2lbs), the Greenwich talent who trains at the Peacock Gym in Canning Town is an imposing physical specimen. More importantly, along with sound skills he possesses in either hand the sort of explosive power that sells tickets and often guarantees success in the heaviest weight class.
Dubois’ most recent fight was a prime example. His vacant British title bout against Nathan Gorman was reckoned to be a 50-50 affair, but Daniel made a mockery of that by knocking Gorman down in the third and out in the fifth.
Tetteh may well go the same way, unless he turns out to be better than expected. Not that Dubois is taking him lightly.
“We’ll see on the night if it’s my toughest test yet,” said Dubois. “I haven’t studied videos of him really, I’m just approaching this fight with the mindset of ‘seek and destroy’ and come away with a victory.
“It’s just one fight at a time – I don’t ever overlook anyone.”
Tetteh comes with impressive stats, but he has never fought professionally outside Ghana and the quality of some of his opposition is dubious.
He is listed as 19-0 (16 wins early) on BoxRec, yet there is footage on YouTube of another victory last month, when Kenya’s Morris Okolla retired after six rounds of a Commonwealth title eliminator. Tetteh looked strong but slow and one-paced as he wore down his shorter southpaw opponent.
An interesting formline is that Okolla had lasted in the 10th round with Richard Lartey, the Ghanaian that Dubois knocked out in four wild sessions in April.
Tetteh started out as a light-heavyweight, winning the WBA Pan African belt in 2014. In 2017 he moved up to cruiser, where he lifted the Ghanaian title in May, before moving up again to heavyweight to take the WBO Africa belt in December.
For his most recent fight listed on BoxRec, a three-round stoppage of Jones Quarshie in December 2018, he scaled 220lbs – about 20lbs lighter than Dubois’ usual poundage.
That will make it difficult for him for hold off the marauding Londoner, who has proved very good at applying pressure early on.
Daniel has scored three wins in the first and four more in the second – and if many of those were near the start of his career, in March he notched a second-round KO of Razvan Cojanu, the big Romanian who had gone the 12-round distance with Joe Parker in a WBO title fight.
The only man who has reached the final bell with Dubois is Kevin Johnson, in a 10-rounder one year ago. But the gnarled American veteran, who knows how to cover up and hold, has performed the same trick with many other top heavies.
Truth be told, tomorrow’s fight is as much about ticking a box for Dubois as broadening his range of experience. With time on his side – all his rivals are significantly older – he is taking the sensible step of accumulating all the titles available.
So far he has won Area (Southern), English and British – and if he beats Tetteh for the Commonwealth, then the European won’t be far off. After that, only the world title would remain for an historic achievement.
Explained Dubois, “My promoter Frank Warren is guiding me to pick up every belt along the way. Carrying on doing what I am doing is most important, but if I can pick up these good titles and put them on my CV, I am definitely going for it.”
It would be a huge surprise if he didn’t beat Tetteh. Look for Dubois to overwhelm him with powerful attacks in about four rounds.
Also on the bill, former double Olympic champion Nicola Adams, 5-0 (3),defends her WBO flyweight title against Mexico’s Maria Salinas over 10 two-minute rounds.
Salinas, 21-7-3 (7), is a southpaw who has mixed in good company but tends to lose the big ones. The hugely experienced Adams has seen all styles and is favoured to retain via clear points decision.
Welling’s Archie Sharp, 16-0 (8), boxes Dublin southpaw Declan Geraghty, 19-4 (4). The Kent hope is nicknamed “Sharpshooter” and can back that up by winning this 10-rounder on points.
The Verdict Once this is out of the way, Dubois can step up a level.