Caroline Dubois, who came up short of a medal at the Tokyo Olympics representing Great Britain, made a successful pro boxing debut today in Cardiff, Wales, beating veteran Vaida Masiokaite over six rounds.
Referee Chris Jones scored the bout 60-54 for the 21-year-old Dubois (1-0), who is still a young fighter with a lot to work on, a lot of skills to polish, but has obvious major promise coming into the sport as a lightweight, where there’s usually some good talent on the women’s side of the sport.
Masiokaite (2-15-4, 1 KO) definitely doesn’t have a pretty record, but the 34-year-old Lithuanian is a veteran fighter who has made a career out of testing prospects on British soil, fighting the likes of Chantelle Cameron, Rhiannon Dixon (twice), and others, including Tasha Jonas last November in London. Masiokaite was nearly dropped at one point, but showed great determination to simply not go down, steadying herself just barely before she touched down on the canvas.
Dubois, the younger sister of heavyweight prospect Daniel Dubois, seemed to have some clear nerves in the fight, which was understandable admitted afterward, and maybe forced a bit too much work in the first few rounds especially, but on the whole you couldn’t ask for a lot more of a debut.
“It was amazing, to be honest. The crowd was amazing. It was a good atmosphere to be part of and I’m happy to get it out of the way,” she said of the debut. “Seeing the crowd and everybody, I saw my dad waving, my brother. I felt the nerves a little bit, I rushed my work a little bit. If I’d just sat back and boxed, I would have looked better.”
Asked about the differences between amateur and pro, Dubois said, “You could see a lot more with no head guard. It was my first time boxing with no head guard. And it’s a different atmosphere. But other than that, it’s boxing.”
“I think as debuts go, what a statement. Got a fantastic reception. She hasn’t boxed in six or seven months, since the Olympics,” said trainer Shane McGuigan. “It’s all a new experience. There’s definitely a lot of nerves going in there, but I thought she handled it amazingly. (Masiokaite) is seasoned, she’s had about 20 fights — so to win every round, it was great, and we got some rounds in. We need those rounds, the experience. She’s probably going to be back end of March, and we look forward to the next one.”