Heavyweight prospect Daniel Dubois got back in action and back in the winner’s circle today, knocking out Bogdan Dinu early in the second round.
Dubois (16-1, 15 KO) hadn’t fought since his loss to Joe Joyce late last year, where he also suffered a broken orbital bone and had his toughness deeply questioned by some.
Here, he was in against the level of opponent we’ve seen him smash before, and he smashed one again. Working with new trainer Shane McGuigan, we didn’t really have time to see if Dubois, 23, really has something different to his game now, as Dinu (20-3, 16 KO) simply got knocked out too quickly.
Realistically, what we saw was the same Daniel Dubois that ran over the likes of Ricardo Snijders and Kyotaro Fujimoto and Ebenezer Tetteh. That’s not to say he doesn’t have more now with McGuigan, just that he didn’t have to or get to show any of it.
The win gives Dubois, rather ridiculously, the interim WBA heavyweight title. If you’re keeping track, the WBA have “super world” champion Anthony Joshua, “world” (what some call “regular”) champion Trevor Bryan, “gold” champion Robert Helenius, and “champion in recess” Mahmoud Charr, who actually fought on May 15, so more recently than Joshua or Bryan or Helenius or, until today, Dubois, but whatever, it’s the WBA. The one that matters is AJ, the rest are just names on a list.
Dubois doesn’t have to fight any of those guys (also, he most likely will not, unless Charr is eager to come take a run at him), and what he does next will probably not get anyone super excited. They took a gamble putting him in with Joyce and it didn’t work. He’s young — very young for a heavyweight — and can develop a lot while the upper tier of the division start to fade out. It could be at least three or four years before he’s truly ready to make big waves, but he’s ambitious, too, so I wouldn’t expect him to wait that long.
But a fight with someone tricky but not particularly dangerous — say, a Hughie Fury sort — might be the high-end of what you want to risk with him next. We’ll see. Someone like Gerald Washington might also fit the bill.
- Nathan Heaney KO-3 Iliyan Markov: Heaney, a 32-year-old middleweight who is now 12-0 (4 KO), blasted through Markov (6-15-2, 3 KO), an undersized, 23-year-old no-hoper from Bulgaria. But Heaney was a big reason for the solid (if limited) ticket sales and the energetic atmosphere on an undercard of mismatches. Hard to envision Heaney as more than a domestic middleweight, but he definitely got shown a lot of love in this one, and given what the matchup was, he did what he should have done.
- Tommy Fury PTS-6 Jordan Grant: Fury (6-0, 4 KO) was figuring to settle in at 175, but came in at 189 for this one, which had a 190 lb catchweight, so it’ll be interesting to see if in time he sheds down to 175 — at 22, he could — or bulks up to 200 and becomes a proper young cruiserweight. He didn’t have it fully easy with Grant (2-1, 0 KO), who was hyped as having “30 unlicensed fights” before turning pro, and Grant definitely didn’t show any fear of the “Love Island” heartthrob, clipping Fury a few times and coming to him. But Tommy got through it and won the fight clearly, and it wound up useful for him, Grant actually stood his ground in there. After the fight, John Fury and BT Sport’s Steve Bunce both went on a big crusade to call out Jake Paul for the Fury-Wilder 3 undercard on July 24, which is absolute nonsense and they both know it, as Paul is slated to fight Tyron Woodley this summer, and has a deal with Showtime. But luckily a lot of people won’t consider even the slightest of nuance there and will be glad to take Team Fury’s word for it that Paul is a big coward because he won’t fight Tommy on that date.
- Caoimhin Agyarko RTD-3 Ernesto Olvera: Agyarko, 24, is now 9-0 (6 KO), with Olvera (11-7-1, 3 KO) pulled by his corner after three rounds of one-way traffic. “Black Thunder” had no trouble here, and really could have stopped it in the first if he’d felt like it, as he sent Olvera reeling across the ring on a little counter right hand. If Agyarko wanted to pounce there, he could have. Olvera has a terribly empty record and is probably not even as good as the 11-7-1 suggests, but Agyarko is at worst a good domestic middleweight prospect, too. He did his best work to the body in this one.
- Liam Davies TKO-2 Stefan Slavchev: No good reason for this fight to happen, as the 25-year-old Davies (9-0, 4 KO) had already beaten Slavchev (11-39-2, 4 KO) in Davies’ second pro fight back in 2019, and it’s not like there was controversy or anything. Davies dropped the 28-year-old Bulgarian four times, twice in each round, before it was mercifully stopped at 1:01 of the second. Davies’ friends and loved ones were extremely excited about this.
"I think we can safely say a job well done."@Liamdavies_2 stops Stefan Slavchev and his home support in Telford go wild. A great display from the English bantamweight champion. pic.twitter.com/jJJtq57I18— Boxing on BT Sport (@BTSportBoxing) June 5, 2021
- Adan Mohamed PTS-4 Luke Fash: The 19-year-old Mohamed is now 2-0 (0 KO) after a good amateur career as a junior, and easily and clearly won this, taking it 40-36 on the referee’s score card over Fash. The 31-year-old Fash achieved the landmark 60th loss of his pro career, and now stands at 2-60-2 (0 KO), reportedly with another fight set for 13 days from now in Sheffield. He hasn’t actually won a fight since 2016, when he had a brilliant stretch going 2-0-1 in three fights on March 5, March 18, and April 16 of that year. Mohamed fought as a featherweight here, but figures to settle in at 122 when he gets serious, whenever that is.