Over the weekend Daniel Dubois hit Instagram to post some information about a possible matchup with Deontay Wilder. While men in the fight game often call each other out to gain popularity this came straight from the horse’s mouth, his promoter Frank Warren. The Warren quote came from The Lockdown Lowdown, the interview series posted to the Queensbury Promotion YouTube channel. Warren effectively said that after Tyson Fury so effectively dissected and shut out Wilder in their most recent rematch, he would have no qualms pitting Dubois against Wilder this year if he can get through Joe Joyce.
That’s a big claim from Warren for several reasons, mainly because Dubois is only 22 at this point and has never faced anyone close to Wilder’s caliber. While he’s had some great fights against decent boxers, see his fights with Kyotaro Fujimoto and Nathan Gorman, Wilder is a huge step up in level for Dubois. Dubois is yet to fight Joe Joyce, also the highest-level boxer Dubois has been set to face so far in his career and likely to be a very stiff challenge, so most promoters would be keen to incrementally move their fighters up before goading the #2 ranked Heavyweight in the world.
Warren obviously knows the fight game better than most people, this isn’t the first talented young boxer he’s encountered, and he’s also seen more true champions in person than any of us. If Warren sees weaknesses in Wilder’s game, and truly believes his prodigy Dubois can take him out at 22, I’m inclined to believe him.
What does this mean for Wilder?
Deontay Wilder will surely have something to say in response to Frank Warren and Dubois. Wilder has never been the type of man to take criticism or taunts lying down, usually reacting with a bit of anger and challenging whoever needs to be challenged.
He won’t take kindly to Warren’s dismissive tone regarding his boxing skills, much less the suggestion that a relatively untested 22-year-old outside of the top 15 could best him. Wilder still sees himself as the true WBC Champion, believing he was somehow wronged by everyone during the Fury rematch. It will be a hard pill to swallow, knowing that British boxing no longer regards you as any real kind of threat.
Wilder fought so long for recognition within the U.S, he had to wait even longer before the international boxing community took him seriously, and even then, he wasn’t happy with what he perceived as a lack of respect. Now hearing that a British promoter thinks he’s a good fight for the #6 ranked British Heavyweight, and not near the level of the other top 2 Heavyweights in the world, Wilder will have something to say.
Would Wilder take the fight?
At this point, it’s highly unlikely, as Wilder still has his sights set squarely on avenging his loss to Tyson Fury and taking on Anthony Joshua. In our last article, we covered the possibility of Wilder coming to a step-aside agreement with team Fury, which we weren’t so positive about. If somehow Wilder could be convinced to take that deal he might be willing to take another fight while waiting for his shot at Fury, especially if that fight was a big payday that he saw as an easier fight and was necessary to defend his reputation.
Is Dubois ready for it?
The current youngest, genuine Heavyweight prospect has definitely made an amazing entrance to the boxing world. His highlight reel is already one that many career-long fighters would be proud of. Aside from his tendency to go for blood at the first sign of weakness, Dubois has shown himself to be a technical, powerful, mature boxer. Dubois really is showing himself to be the complete package, and at just 22 he’s only going to improve.
Very clearly Dubois has the muscularity to overpower Wilder. Comparing their frames really emphasizes how slender Wilder is compared to the current crop, we imagine it would be difficult for Wilder to hold up Dubois’ mass if he were being leaned on for any length of time. But Wilder knows how to fight and use his length, he knows how to throw his hands to keep people on the back foot.
The difference now, which Frank Warren was referring to, is that Fury showed the world what happens when a big, strong, and heavy Heavyweight relentlessly takes the fight to Wilder. Fury, with his new mass, strength, and bullish aggression was simply too much for Wilder. I think Dubois is capable of the exact same thing. If Dubois were to keep the pressure on Wilder, not give him space to breathe, really use his strength to bully him, Wilder could wilt the same way he did before.
Dubois also has the key to winning in his pocket. Dubois, being so young, so strong, and unbeaten, has masses of confidence in himself. The more experienced Heavyweights, having been taken to deep water a few times in their career, have felt that ping of self-doubt. While the top Heavyweights have felt that doubt and found the mental fortitude to pull through, Dubois has steamrolled all of his opponents. He has a sense of invincibility that comes with a young, injury-free body. No aches and pains, no doubts.
It would be a very interesting fight for Dubois, a great fight for British boxing, and one I’d love to see happen. It might end up being a case of too much, too soon, but many people probably said that about the 20-year-old Mike Tyson who became champ and went on to dominate boxing in the 80s. Had Cus D’Amato protected Tyson more, we might never have seen the boxer we saw. Maybe Warren is going the same route.
Is Dubois good enough to dance with Wilder? Does he need more time?
Let us know what you think in the comments below.