Danny Flexen suggests 3 potential next opponents for unbeaten heavyweight Daniel Dubois
It is clear by now that Daniel Dubois, undefeated British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion, is something of a prodigy. A multi-titled junior amateur, the Greenwich hulk only had seven senior bouts and is just 22. He is of course on a well-documented path to win ’every belt’ but the next strap on the traditional journey is the European and while the mandatory contender for that championship is big rival Joe Joyce, their promoter Frank Warren doesn’t fancy that showdown until next year.
While recent victim Ebenezer Tetteh provided a facile route to Commonwealth gold, Dubois cannot make a habit of smashing through overmatched opposition, as fun as that may be to watch. Nor, however, should he be rushed. Daniel requires exposure to a variety of styles and longer fights before entering the lion’s den. With that in mind, here are three potential next opponents I suggest.
1. Christian Hammer
The fact this Romanian beat another British giant in David Price may strike a note of caution but that was in 2017 and the Liverpudlian was struggling at the time. Hammer is rough, strong and durable - so should provide rounds - but limited and loses to the genuine quality heavyweights he meets. Given he has lasted the course with Alexander Povetkin and Luis Ortiz (last time out), while also taking Tyson Fury to the end of the eighth before retiring, Hammer would also serve as a measuring stick and potential statement if Dubois can KO him.
2. Charles Martin
On the surface, he fits the bill. A former world champion, a well-known name in the UK thanks to ceding his IBF belt here to Anthony Joshua and fragile, both physically and mentally. Martin has won four of five since AJ destroyed him and the only defeat was a tight points loss to top contender Adam Kownacki. Dubois could draw favourable comparisons with the Pole should he score an eye-catching early win over an American who looks the part but lacks a standout triumph on his record.
3. Otto Wallin
I actually suggested this fight to both Frank and Francis Warren shortly after the previously undervalued Swede gave Tyson Fury all he could handle en route to a decision reverse (his first and only defeat) last month. Father and son felt it would make a great contest ’down the line’ but why not strike while the iron is hot? Possibly because Dubois clearly beating Wallin would make their top heavyweight, Fury, look bad, but Dubois is the future and would learn a great deal from the problems Wallin poses.