BRITISH boxing has a new sensation. Daniel Dubois was phenomenal as he wrecked Nathan Gorman at the O2 in London to win the vacant British heavyweight title.
It wasn’t just the victory, though that did come over a good fighter in Gorman. It was the manner of it. Dubois descended on him with elemental ferocity to seize a control over the bout that he would never relinquish. Before this title fight there were questions Dubois needed to answer. He had the tools, he had the ability but he was inexperienced. It remained to be seen how the young fighter, still only 21 years old, would handle headlining a high profile title fight at a major arena. Any doubts about his temperament can be resolved. He took to the occasion like a heat seeking missile locking on to its target.
He zeroed in on Gorman and burnt up the space between them. He was denying Nathan room to move, his jab excellent and quick. It streaked out ahead of him, confining Gorman to the outer edges of the ring. But it was his right hand that seared through Nathan’s defences and landed with frightening force. That weapon blasted Gorman to canvas in the third round and struck him down with thunderous finality at 2-41 of the fifth round.
Judges Steve Gray, John Latham and Bob Williams were certainly not required.
Dubois was all the more impressive given that Gorman did show flashes of his own quality. He had the heart to rise from a third round knockdown that would have dismantled most heavyweights, he had the presence of mind to attack when under pressure and he landed clever shots of his own. What should be alarming for the heavyweight division is that Dubois took them. Gorman might have hit him with a big hook, but Daniel stayed set. His head scarcely moved. He shrugged off the impact to resume that fearful work.
After the fight, Dubois strode into the press conference. He hadn’t felt the need to put on a shirt. He just slung the British title over his shoulder, the Lonsdale belt small against the solid muscle of his arm and chest. The intensity of the fight had left him. He spoke simply with the occasional smile.
“It was strange. It was different this time. I didn’t feel as fired up as I usually do,” he said. “Totally tunnel-visioned and whatever he hit me with didn’t faze me at all. I came through it and was solely focused and one-minded in my assault on him, just to come out victorious. So I wasn’t going to let anything get in my way.
“Right now, I’m glad I won, and who’s next?”
That should serve as a warning to the rest of the division. A new heavyweight has arrived.
The Verdict Dubois comes of age in an explosive fight for the British title.
AS IT HAPPENED
Dubois comes forward at once. He pushes Gorman back and flings his right to the head. Gorman fires in a cross from short range, just to make the Londoner think twice. With his back on the ropes, Nathan fires off a solid uppercut. But with a strong cross Dubois keeps the Nantwich man pegged back.
The early momentum is with Dubois. Gorman has to rally. He finds a place for his left hook, using that weapon. But for a moment Gorman lists beneath the weight of Dubois’ right hook. Daniel’s jab is excellent. It shoots out, asserting further control and sets up the cross. A cut opens beside Gorman’s left eye, bleeding freely and providing another hint of danger.
As though to demonstrate he’s okay, Gorman quickly walks out to the centre of the ring. It makes no difference to Dubois. He continues the attack. With huge right hooks he smashes Gorman down to the canvas. It’s a remarkable feat that Nathan even manages to haul himself upright. Heart propels him back at Dubois. Although he manages to clip Daniel with a left hook high on the head, Dubois is untroubled.
Dubois opens up on him to start the round. When Gorman retreats to the ropes, it’s a dangerous invitation to offer his attacker. Nathan bobs under a hook and doubles his left into two fine hooks. All the while though Dubois continues to hunt him down.
Gorman spins away from an assault, unbalanced. Dubois marks it and seizes his moment. Gorman is on the ropes and Daniel sinks a left hook into his body. Nathan moves off still. But it’s a massive right to the head that detonates with explosive impact. It casts Gorman down on his back, badly hurt. Referee Victor Loughlin counts him out at 2-41 of the session.
Daniel Dubois (239lbs), 12-0 (11), w ko 5 Nathan Gorman (256lbs), 16-1 (11); Joe Joyce (256lbs), 10-0 (9), w pts 12 Bryant Jennings (226lbs), 24-4 (14); Liam Williams (159lbs), 21-2-1 (16), w rsf 2 Karim Achour (159lbs), 27-6-3 (4); Archie Sharp (129¼lbs), 16-0 (8), w pts 10 Jordan McCorry (129¼lbs), 18-6-1 (4); Sunny Edwards (114lbs 7oz), 12-0 (4), w pts 10 Hiram Gallardo (114lbs 7oz), 12-3-2 (4); Hamzah Sheeraz (155lbs 2oz), 9-0 (5), w rsf 1 Scott James (155¼lbs), 4-6-1; Willie Hutchinson (179lbs), 9-0 (6) w pts 6 Josip Perkovic (181lbs), 5-10- (3); Johnathan Palata (226lbs 2oz), 6-0 (3), w rsf 1 Ferenc Zsalek(238lbs), 21-75-7 (7); Florian Marku (150lbs 2oz), 4-0 (4), w rsf 4 Tony Broadbent (146lbs) 8-6 (2); Dennis McCann (117lbs 9oz), 2-0 (1), w pts 4 Jerson Larios (118lbs), 7-7 (3); Mark Chamberlain (136lbs 1oz), 3-0 (2), w pts 4 Sergio Gonzalez (136lbs), 10-17-5 (7); Jake Pettitt (126lbs 9oz), 6-0 (1), w pts 4 Elvis Guillen (125lbs 5oz), 9-55-4 (6); Micky Burke (147¼lbs), 1-0, w pts 4 Michael Williams (145lbs 6oz), 2-16.
- Both fighters have family ties to boxing. Dubois’ younger sister is a stellar amateur. Caroline Dubois is already a Youth World and Olympic champion. Gorman’s cousin is none other than Tyson Fury.
- Fury accompanied Gorman to the ring, Frank Bruno walked in with Dubois. David Haye and Alfie Allen, aka Theon Greyjoy from Game of Throne were watching from ringside.
- Gorman’s second child was born the Tuesday before the contest. She had been due to arrive on Saturday, fight night itself.
- Dubois is expected to box next in September.