DANIEL DUBOIS did what he could against one of the best fighters in the world.
No-one ever expected the Londoner to start bamboozling Oleksandr Usyk with sweet science he had never seen before. His corner led by Don Charles constructed a game plan to take the fight to the Ukrainian and pile on the pressure by whatever means necessary.
The punch deemed a low blow by referee Luis Pabon in round five is now the focal point of attention. But the records show that Usyk dropped Dubois legitimately on two occasions and won by stoppage in round nine.
Dubois and his team can now use the events of the fifth round as an argument that he should now be in the possession of three heavyweight belts and not Usyk. But in the coming days and weeks a new career path will need to be put in place to help the 25-year-old return to world title contention.
It is highly unlikely that the WBA (the sanctioning body which placed Dubois as Usyk’s mandatory challenger) will overturn the result or order a rematch. Far unlikelier is the idea that the IBF and WBO, whose champion is also Usyk, would get on board as well.
So, what could be next for Daniel Dubois? Boxing News offers three suggestions to help Dubois get back amongst the best in the heavyweight division.
- Agit Kabayel 23-0 (15)
The current European heavyweight champion has been linked to fights against Derek Chisora, Anthony Joshua, and Tyson Fury in the past. With a worthy title in his grasp and a ranking of number seven with the IBF it would be a fight worth chasing for Dubois and one he would be very much capable of winning. Kabayel, two inches shorter than the Brit but carrying a similar weight, won the vacant EBU strap last time out against Agron Smakici. The German’s aggressive tactics worked for and against him. He survived a standing eight count after a second-round onslaught from the Croat but then later in the session almost finished Smakici off. The firefight continued in the third, but Kabayel prevailed.
- Joseph Parker 32-3 (22)
At 31 years old Parker isn’t finished but there are enough miles on the clock to suggest that the New Zealander can now be described as a veteran. Having shared the ring with Andy Ruiz, Anthony Joshua, Dillian Whyte, Derek Chisora and Joe Joyce there is plenty of experience and know-how for the former WBO world champion to call on. Against Joyce his work-rate and effort were commended but the power and strength of Joyce proved too much and stopped Parker in the 11th round. Two wins since against Jack Massey and Faiga Opelu add to the W column on his record and little else thereafter. Parker still carries name value, particularly in the UK, to make a fight against Dubois a sellable one as well as one which would be winnable for both.
- Martin Bakole 19-1 (14)
The 6ft 6ins Scottish-based Congolese heavyweight is regarded as a dark horse of the division but one that is in need of a significant fight. Rumours of a rematch against Michael Hunter continue to swirl and it may be that Dubois’ promoter Frank Warren views Bakole as high-risk low reward but a win for Dubois would actually increase his reputation. What’s not to love about being the man who beat the guy who apparently no-one wants to face? Bakole needs to walk the walk with so much talk coming from his trainer Billy Nelson. Neither Dubois or Bakole would fear one another, and he would be a cheaper option than Parker.
- Derek Chisora
No. He shouldn’t be fighting. Everything about the elder statesman of British heavyweight boxing has slowed. No-one would want to see target practice for however long Chisora could stand.
- Otto Wallin
I can’t imagine the Swedish southpaw would be he high on the list. Tyson Fury’s former opponent is in line to fight former cruiserweight world champion Murat Gassiev in Turkey later this year year. Dubois will want a fight where he can look good. Wallin isn’t the man to make that happen.
- Luis Ortiz
Too expensive and it’s highly unlikely the grandfather of the division would travel to the UK.
- Jermaine Franklin
Are two trips to Great Britain enough for the American or does he really want a third. He was unlucky against Dillian Whyte but underwhelming against Anthony Joshua. Beating Franklin impressively may create an angle for Dubois to tear into DW and AJ, I guess.
- Carlos Takam
See Derek Chisora.