It is more than eight months since British boxing fans had a glimpse of Daniel Dubois but the man known as ‘Dynamite’ is ready to explode back on to television screens after the longest lay-off of his career.
In an ideal world, Dubois would currently be surveying the various options available to him after his eagerly awaited all-British heavyweight showdown with Joe Joyce. Instead he needs to ensure that he comes through this weekend’s fight with late notice opponent Ricardo Snijders (18-1, 8 KO’s) without issue. For all the latest fight odds, visit our sportsbook.
Last Saturday, Alexander Povetkin’s stunning knockout of Dillian Whyte provided a timely and stark reminder that the best laid plans can quickly go to waste and Snijder’s late inclusion adds another little dimension to the task at hand.
“It’s been a nightmare. Erik Pfeifer’s team sent his medicals in with no MRI scan,” show promoter Frank Warren told 32Red. “We might end up making that again down the road, who knows, but most importantly the last few weeks have been about getting Daniel and Joe out before they eventually fight each other in October.”
Not all prospects need to be treated equally. These days, young athletes tend to be promoted as everything to everybody, appearing on chat shows and happily advertising anything that gets offered to them. It quickly became apparent that Dubois was cut from a different cloth. On the whole, the 22-year-old British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion has been allowed to let his actions speak louder than words.
The fight with Snijders will be Dubois’ final showcase before a much needed step up in competition. He is beginning to radiate the kind of aura which causes opponents at this level to start looking for a comfortable spot on the canvas before the first bell rings and that isn’t something that Dubois, his trainer, Martin Bowers, or his growing army of fans want to see. The hope is that Snijders comes with ambition and poses some problems.
“They used to do that a bit with Mike Tyson. I’d say 90 odd percent of the people Mike fought were beaten before they got in the ring with him,” Warren said. “Daniel reminds me more of a young George Foreman or Sonny Liston, though. He’s deadly and doesn’t say much. He’s a very menacing guy.
“I would love for him to get some rounds under his belt, I would like to see him face some good competition and I wanna see him knock somebody out. I want him to tick all those boxes. The problem you have is because he’s such a devastating hitter, he can knock somebody out in the opening seconds of a fight. That’s the kind of power he has. He’s skilful too. If you look at somebody like Deontay Wilder, he’s a powerful puncher but nowhere near as skilful as Daniel is.
“I think Daniel’s done brilliantly and he’s done it by being himself. We’re not trying to manufacture him. It just wouldn’t work and it’d be contrived. He’d be uncomfortable doing it and people would see right through it.”
With the money on offer at heavyweight these days, promoters, managers and connections can understandably get nervous when everything isn’t just so but if there has been any unease surrounding Dubois’ late notice change of opponent and the unusual studio setting, none of it has been caused by the man himself. Give him a date and a venue and he will happily clock in for work every day at The Peacock Gym and show up ready for action.
“He’s totally unfazed by it all,” Warren said. “He’s a total fighting machine. He doesn’t care about anything else. With the greatest respect he doesn’t care about doing interviews or press. All he wants to do is fight.
“He hasn’t changed a single bit. His feet are still firmly on the floor and he’s still got the same ambition, hunger and drive he has always had.”
The fight between Dubois and Snijders will bring an end to the first batch of BT Studio shows. There has been some good action with Mick Conlan and Carl Frampton notching important wins and Brad Foster claiming a Lonsdale belt to keep. A group of fighters who are still getting accustomed to the limelight have also been given the chance to impress and Hamzah Sheeraz, Lyndon Arthur and Dennis McCann have been the standout performers. The next group of events promise even more excitement with some of BT Sports’ biggest hitters getting run outs.
“It’s good that the youngsters are getting the type of exposure that they wouldn’t normally get. By the time this situation is finally over, people will know who they are. I think Hamzah and Dennis are just superb fighters.
“I’m really looking forward to getting the fight on between Lyndon and Anthony Yarde in the autumn. That’s gonna be a great night. Lyndon made it an interesting fight and I hope Anthony is going to be out in September for his own warm up and then we can get it on.”