Daniel Dubois aims for win No. 14 on Saturday, and stoppage/KO No. 13, but we take a deeper dive into his record and suggest three durable opponents to test his potency
On the surface, expressing any kind of doubt regarding the potency of Daniel Dubois as a puncher appears foolish, even ludicrous. The 22-year-old phenom has gotten rid of 12 of his 13 opponents thus far, including four unbeaten adversaries. The 6ft 5in powerhouse also passes the eye test, all his key punches look both brutal and technically correct, his victims often grimace as they fall or are rescued.
However, to play devil’s advocate, if you delve deeper into Dubois’ ledger, while he may well be a huge banger, drilling down the stats fails to wholly support this assertion.
If we remove the four undefeated fighters from the equation – although he beat them all inside the distance none had previously shown they could survive against a huge hitter – that leaves nine men to assess. One of these was veteran American spoiler Kevin Johnson who, while past his best when Dubois outscored him last year, still became the only man to extend the rising talent. Johnson is of course renowned for survival and has only been halted on three occasions. Anthony Joshua managed it on his way up, so no shame there, another boxer forced a cuts stoppage, but fringe contender Martin Bakole pounded the resistance out of “Kingpin” a year after Dubois was taken 10, albeit in only his ninth pro fight to the skilful African’s 15th.
Second professional opponent Blaise Menduou had never been stopped before Dubois hammered him in two rounds, but has failed to last the course once since and has fought around cruiserweight.
Give-and-take domestic quartet David Howe, Dorian Darch, AJ Carter and Tom Little have, in a collective 34 defeats, been stopped or knocked out 27 times, including their maulings at the fists of “Dynamite”, who next faces 21-1 Kyotaro Fujimoto on Saturday. The Japanese has been finished before, albeit almost seven years ago.
Uruguay Mauricio Barragan, designated victim for Daniel’s fourth professional outing, came in under the cruiserweight limit, had been stopped once before and has failed to hear the final bell on three subsequent occasions.
Romanian Razvan Cojanu, pummelled in March, had lost to world-class Luis Ortiz and slightly less revered Donovan Dennis, both in two rounds the same as Dubois achieved. That said, the rugged Cojanu had taken Nathan Gorman and, in a world title try, Joseph Parker the full 12 but he had been a sparring partner for the New Zealander in his camp for Hughie Fury, before the latter withdrew and Razvan stepped in.
That only leaves April opponent Richard Lartey who finally fell in the fourth session of an exciting shootout. He had previously suffered a fifth-round retirement but no genuine stoppages or KOs.
The diagnosis is that Dubois is very likely a big puncher, even by heavyweight standards and the effect of his power may well magnify as he matures physically and as a technical boxer. But he has yet to strongly suggest that he has that fight-changing equaliser at the very highest level. To do so, he will have to oppose and despatch opponents celebrated for their durability. The likes of Dereck Chisora (only genuinely wiped out by a peak David Haye and late in a gruelling contest with Dillian Whyte), Christian Hammer (not knocked out since 2010) and Johann Duhaupas (finished only by Deontay Wilder and Alexander Povetkin) would go a long way to settling the debate.