Daniel Dubois has been making quite the impression in the boxing world over the last couple of years. The Londoner’s impressive start to his professional career, which so far has yielded 12 victories from 12 fights, 11 of those by knockout, has caused many to sit up and take notice.
The next challenge for Dubois is a bout with Ghanaian fighter Ebenezer Tetteh. Such is the British boxer’s stock among boxing fans, Dubois v Tetteh winner odds show Dubois to be the clear favourite in the eyes of many. The 21-year-old certainly isn’t short of ambition, but what is it that makes him such a tough opponent in the ring?
Perhaps the most obvious factor is Dubois’ fearsome power and strength. He is as hard-hitting a heavyweight as any, and perhaps most striking is the meticulous manner in which he achieves his knockouts. There is no showmanship once the bell rings, but rather a steely look in his eyes and a focus to do the job effectively and mercilessly. With Dubois, the punches come thick and laden with the full weight of the muscular body behind them.
At 6 foot 5 inches, Dubois will never be the tallest of heavyweight boxers, but what he may lack slightly in height and reach, he makes up for with the quality of his jabs and hooks, and the efficiency of his style. He is a boxer who dictates fights, and battles opponents on his terms only.
BBC Sport’s boxing correspondent Mike Costello described Dubois’ victory over Nathan Gorman in July as a “brutal display”, and that ruthless brutality is what makes the young fighter such a formidable opponent.
Another important trait that makes Dubois such a hot prospect is his ambition to reach the top of his sport. There is a line between ambition and arrogance, but Dubois’ claims to greatness are backed up by his technical prowess.
“Whoever I’ve got to beat, I will beat,” Dubois said in the build-up to this month’s bout with Tetteh. “I’m not too far away from the big boys and breaking into that league. I am very focused right now, determined to push on and not let anything hold me back. The best is still yet to come and I’ve a whole lot more to give.”
Dubois’ confidence in his media appearances is always tempered with a degree of measure. He always comes across simultaneously as looking eagerly towards future opponents and remaining focused on the opponent at hand. Not all boxers in the past have possessed that kind of level-headedness.
Indeed, Dubois’ attitude reflects his style of fighting – hard-hitting and full of confidence, but always methodical and thought-out. If he does overcome Tetteh with the ease many are predicting, some will suggest it is time Dubois tested his mettle against the big guns. Many boxing fans are touting him as the future of heavyweight boxing, and eventually the time will come when Dubois must back those claims up against the world’s top heavyweights. That will be the true test of his credentials to dominate the sport.
For the time being, however, Dubois’ gaze is fixed solely on the challenge embodied by Tetteh. “It is going to be another devastating performance from me,” he recently asserted. With such an impressive record, his unflinching technical ability, and a hunger to succeed that accentuates all the virtues of his style, it’s difficult to see how Tetteh will pose too great a threat to Dubois’ ongoing quest for greatness.