Heavyweight prospect Daniel Dubois has hit the boxing big time – being lured away from the amateur ranks after signing a lucrative deal with promoter Frank Warren.
The 19-year-old from Deptford was being lined up by GB Boxing to be a gold medal hope at the 2020 Olympics.
But Dubois is thought to have signed a six-figure contract with Warren to move into the professional ranks.
There were stories circulating before Christmas that the South Londoner – who had a spell boxing for Lynn ABC – knocked out current heavyweight poster boy Anthony Joshua in sparring.
Dubois – who is 6ft 5ins tall – will be managed and trained by Martin Bowers at Canning Town’s Peacock Gym. He joined Islington Boxing Club as a senior in 2015.
“If I know I can take someone out of there, I’m going to take him out,” said Dubois. “In the heavyweight division, one shot can change the whole fight, so you have to take that chance if you want to be successful. It’s what the people want to see.
“Frank is the best promoter out there and I’m delighted to be starting my professional career with him. He has a reputation for developing the very best boxers in the country and I can’t wait to get started.
“I’m confident in my abilities and want to be knocking on the door for a world title by 2020. Becoming the heavyweight champion of the world has been my dream ever since I started out in boxing and I’ll stop at nothing to achieve my goals.
“I have a brilliant team behind me and now it’s time for me to knuckle down and show people what I’m capable of – 2017 is all about keeping busy, staying in the gym and listening to the advice of those around me.”
Dubois is also thought to have held talks with Eddie Hearn as well as attracting interest from Barry McGuigan, who manages Irish star Carl Frampton.
Warren said: ”Daniel is one of the best – if not the best – young heavyweight amateurs in the world today. I’m so pleased that he has decided to team up with us and I’m looking forward to him making his debut soon.
“Martin Bowers is an excellent trainer and I know he will be able to get the very best out of Daniel. He is a great prospect and has a brilliant opportunity to make a name for himself and join the likes of Joe Calzaghe, Naseem Hamed and Nigel Benn as a British boxing icon.
“Naz didn’t go to the Olympics, Calzaghe didn’t go and neither did Ricky Hatton. Daniel can follow in their footsteps but we’ll need to show a bit of patience, he’s got a long and exciting journey ahead of him.
“There’s a big buzz around what he’s done in the gym, sparring with the likes of Anthony Joshua, Joe Joyce and Derick Chisora. I really do believe he is going places and we’re going to work together to ensure that happens.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am to have Daniel on board with us. It’s no secret that I like getting involved with guys at the start of their careers and helping with their development. In Daniel I think we have a very special talent on our hands. I think the fans are going to be in for a treat with him.”
Dubois’ sister Caroline is an undefeated European amateur champion and his younger brother Prince also fights in the unpaid ranks.
Jason Why, who owns London Poetry Books, says that the South Londoner is related to Sylvia Dubois.
“She was a street fighter in the 15th century,” said Why, who took exclusive shots when Warren and Dubois sat down to sign the deal. “I publish books and did hope to do one with Daniel’s dad about his journey to becoming world champion. But they have so much opportunity now I don’t think they’ll have the time.
“I’ve only met Daniel four times but I train with his dad in the gym. I’ve known him on and off for 10 years. We’ve talked about his boy all the time.
“I can only wish him good luck. I’m a bit jealous!”
Photos copyright of www.londonpoetrybooks.com.