Daniel Dubois says he is going to “take over heavyweight boxing” and “make this next few years my era”.
His comments came just a few days after he claimed the vacant British heavyweight title against Nathan Gorman last weekend. It is some statement from the 6ft 5in, 21-year-old Londoner, who is now unbeaten in 12 fights, including 11 knockouts.
“The victory over Nathan was very satisfying because I showed what I can do in terms of my boxing ability in that fight. People have just said about me so far that I’m just a big puncher, but I showed that I can command a fight behind my jab, which is the foundation of all good boxing,” says the boxer, whose moniker “Dynamite” speaks volumes about his potential and power.
Sitting beside the young man, who oozes muscularity and with hands like shovels, at his local leisure centre in Greenwich are his sister Caroline, 18, and brother Prince, 15 – with father David having gone into the gym for a fitness session after making the introductions. The siblings have been ferried around London gyms since they could walk by a parent who is dedicated to boxing.
Caroline is aiming to compete for Great Britain at the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year, while Prince, already over 6ft, could yet prove to be the best of the three, according to his older siblings.
“We all spur each other on and my dad is totally dedicated to our lifestyle in boxing. He has always been that way,” says Daniel, who celebrated with nothing more than a pizza after his five-round demolition of Gorman at the O2 Arena. “I feel ready to fight all of them now, the very best, including Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte, but I know my dad, my trainer Martin Bowers, and my promoter Frank Warren don’t want to rush me through the ranks.
“Once you are up there fighting at that level, you have to stay there, and you are learning on the job, but I know I’m still a year or so away from chasing those guys and I need to get more experience under my belt.”
With the heavyweight division red hot, Dubois is perfectly placed to move into view of the “big boys” by the end of 2020. “It won’t take too long,” Warren tells me. “The danger is always rushing a young heavyweight into the frame early at world title level, as we saw, really, with Joshua, who was always a work in progress, in spite of him holding the world title belts.
“It’s a good problem to have, with Daniel, but we’ll make sure he is smartly matched over the next five to six fights to get him experience against a rising ladder of fighters, but the opportunities are going to come because he is going to climb the world rankings with every performance.”
Indeed, the World Boxing Organisation has already installed Dubois as No 11 in its standings, with the belt held by Andy Ruiz Jr after his shock defeat of Joshua at Madison Square Garden, New York, on June 1.
“I’m not a trash talker, I like to do all my talking with my fists in the ring,” Dubois tells The Sunday Telegraph.
“All these other heavyweights are great challenges for me. But they have had their time – and I need to be 100 per cent ready for these fighters – but I don’t fear any of them. This is my time. I’m going to make this my era, my time, and shine.”
Elsewhere, it was confirmed that Luke Campbell will face Vasyl Lomachenko, the Ukrainian fighter, for the unified lightweight title at The O2 in London on Aug 31.
Lomachenko, a three-weight world champion after just 14 fights who is known as “The Matrix” for his sublime boxing abilities, is regarded by many in the sport as the leading pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
Campbell, 31, from Hull, has lost twice in 22 contests as a professional. Both men won Olympic gold medals at the London 2012 Games, the Briton at bantamweight and the Ukrainian in the lightweight division, to add to his gold in Beijing Olympics in 2008, when he competed as a featherweight.