Frank Warren exclusive on Daniel Dubois, Tommy Fury & more
After an active and exciting year which has boosted both his belt collection and his world ranking, Daniel Dubois brings down the curtain on 2019 this weekend when he fights Japan’s Kayotaro Fujimoto. For all the latest fight odds, visit our sportsbook.
Dubois’ fight with Fujimoto this weekend will end a year when the Londoner went from potential to probable. It’s safe to say it has been a successful twelve months for the 22 year old heavyweight.
“I’ll let you know just how good after the fight,” show promoter, Frank Warren laughed when talking to 32Red. “Seriously though, Dan’s had a great year. He’s been nice and active and he’s come on in leaps and bounds as a fighter. We always knew he was a big puncher but his boxing skills have really come on and I’m thrilled for him about that. He’s fighting this guy Fujimoto this weekend and it’s another good test for him.
“He talks a lot more nowadays and he’s quite articulate. He was extremely shy when he started out but he’s getting used to everything now. He’s come out of his shell and and it’s all going well for him.”
Following Anthony Joshua’s decision victory over Andy Ruiz last weekend the heavyweight title belts seems certain to be split up and Warren is keeping a very close eye on how things pan out. Joshua was 16-0 when Charles Martin offered up his IBF world title on a silver platter and although earning a mandatory challenger position remains the priority, should the correct opportunity – or the right champion – present itself, Warren would have absolutely no hesitation in pitching Dubois in.
“No I wouldn’t and I’ve got to be honest with you, I’d put him in with Joshua tomorrow,” Warren said. “I really would. I watched the fight last weekend and Joshua did what he had to do on the backfoot but he had nothing to run way from. I did my preview for that fight and thought that all things being equal, Ruiz would do the same job again.
“Two things about that. Firstly I did the column before the weigh in and secondly I then saw that interview he did where he said he’d achieved all of his dreams. I thought; ‘That’s not good.’ That was very telling. Ruiz got his few quid and didn’t want to know. This fella went from Brick Lane to Park Lane.”
Back to Dubois and the Peacock Gym graduate’s ever lengthening highlight reel got a couple of additions this year.
“A couple of moments stand out for me,” Warren said. “The fight with Richard Lartey and the way he came back after getting clipped and then the fight with Nathan Gorman. Everybody was saying that it was boxer against puncher and after four rounds he wouldn’t have a chance. In the end it became a boxer and a puncher against Gorman. He did a fantastic job.”
On a packed bill, Liam Williams will take on 6ft 4in tall American Alanez Fox and Sunny Edwards will contest the vacant British flyweight title with Liverpool’s Marcel Braithwaite. Williams and Edwards have both been busy and impressive over the past twelve months. If they come through this weekend’s tests successfully, both will be within touching distance of major fights in 2020. Williams will secure a shot at Demetrius Andrade’s WBO middleweight world title should he beat Fox and Edwards will be right in the mix for big domestic and international fights.
“Liam has earned this opportunity. He can’t afford to take his eye off the ball now. This is a big, big fight for him,” Warren said. “He’s done extremely well [to come back after his fights with Liam Smith]. It obviously suits Liam living up there in Sheffield with Dominic Ingle and he gets along with him.
“Sunny is a really lovely kid. I want to build a fight up between him and Harvey Horn. That’s a good fight. They are both lovely kids and it’d be a shame that they would have to fight but that’s a real Southern rivalry. Hopefully Sunny comes through this fight and we can get those two together on a big show in the New Year.
“Sunny can talk but he does back it up. He comes to all the shows too, he’s always sat there at all our shows. He’s just a boxing fan. He’s quite an astute scholar. He really knows what he’s talking about.”
Tommy Fury has swapped days spent lounging in the baking heat of the Love Island villa for cold gyms and hard work. Videos of him body sparring with his brother, lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, have been doing the rounds and despite his newfound fame, Fury has always insisted that boxing is his true passion. Ruiz’s capitulation gave Fury a timely reminder of the importance of maintaining his focus despite the distractions surrounding him. Fury’s mainstream success ensures that he will be the most well known fighter on the bill at the Copperbox this weekend and he is going to have to do his learning in the public eye.
“I think he’s got tremendous pressure on him now,” Warren said. “He would have been down the undercard, having his fights early on in the evening but on these cards he’s going to have all his fights under the microscope. I think he’s got more pressure on him than most of the people who turn pro.
“I’m not gonna be rushed. He’s still pretty raw as a fighter. We’ll take our time with him and keep him as busy as we can.”
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