”I don’t think I’m very far,” Daniel Dubois admitted on Friday night after walking through the challenge of an overmatched Ebenezer Tetteh. His answer was referring to the distance the 22-year-old feels he is away from challenging for world honours, as his collection of belts continues to grow in the heavyweight division.
The vacant Commonwealth and WBO International heavyweight straps were the latest to be scooped by “Triple D” inside London’s Royal Albert Hall, as a punishing first-round stoppage of Ghana’s prized heavyweight underlined the gulf in class between Dubois and the level of opposition he is continuing to blast his way through.
It’s a sensible strategy from Frank Warren, his promoter, and Queensbury Promotions. The “Every Belt” campaign that has seen the British heavyweight move through Youth, Southern Area, English, European, “Global,” British and now Commonwealth is the perfect way for the youngster to learn his craft in the professional ranks, while simultaneously engaging public interest. “Dynamite” has become Frank Warren’s prized asset in the United Kingdom, with Tyson Fury and Carl Frampton’s co-promotional deals with Top Rank moving their immediate futures across the pond.
”I think with every fight I am improving,” said Dubois after moving to 13-0. It’s hard not to agree with his self-analysis. His most recent wins against Nathan Gorman and Tetteh — despite being worlds apart — have seen significant improvements in the attacks of the East Londoner.
Smarter attacks are forming off the base of better footwork from Dubois, who was in danger of being labelled a plodder after some fairly one-dimensional early wins in his career. After finding the hardened Kevin Johnson impossible to stop just over a year ago, work has clearly been implemented in the Peacock Gym under the careful guidance of Martin Bowers to make sure the youngster’s freakish power is executed correctly with painful consequences.
Speaking to SunSport, Dubois alluded to his power — something that could set him apart as he continues to climb the heavyweight ladder.
”I feel a lot of my power comes from my core and I have always done a lot of core work with my coaches to build on that,” he explained. “When I was an amateur I was lighter and faster — and speed kills in this game. There were times when I was sparring in big gloves and head guards and still dropping people. That made me realise the explosive power was there.”
”I still feel I have a lot more power to come,” Dubois continued. “With age and experience I will throw even better shots, my accuracy and timing should improve, producing an even bigger bang. The power is there but I can always practice and improve the delivery of it. I expect to be hitting harder and harder with each fight.”
These improvements were underlined in bold against the slippery test of Nathan Gorman this past summer. Billed as close to a 50/50 contest, Dubois stopped his compatriot in devastating fashion to claim the British crown.
Selling Dubois to the public has been the biggest question hanging over Frank Warren ever since the youngster began moving through the belts. Seldom does “Dynamite” explode into rants, calling out lists of heavyweight foes, nor does he thrive on upselling his contest with a facade of bad blood between himself and his opponent — the cliché of doing his talking in the ring is optimised by the growth of this “Silent Assassin.”
There should be no need to mould Dubois into something he isn’t. As he continues to deliver inside the ring, doubling down on his natural diffidence in front of the camera would be a sensible and refreshing tactic in the posturing world of the fight game. The fear of the unknown is an underrated ploy of intimidation in boxing.
There is a growing aura surrounding Dubois. Ebenezer Tetteh resembled a deer in the headlights on Friday night before the first bell had rung — a trend I expect to grow as “Triple-D” continues to pace himself on this stroll towards the heavyweight summit.
At just 22, further improvements will be noted in the coming years as BT Sport continue to plan towards an in-house meeting with Joe Joyce. A skilled amateur turning over aged 32, Joyce will give Dubois invaluable experience if the parties can come to an agreement. Despite promoting both, Warren wouldn’t sign off on this bout if it was deemed too early for Dubois.
It is often said that the dog with the loudest bark is the one most afraid. Dubois’ journey so far has proved that silence can be golden.