BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Daniel Dubois has the chance to win his ninth professional title in tomorrow’s heavyweight clash with Kyotaro Fujimoto – but his trainer admits it is a shame that there was no viable domestic opposition for the December 21 date.
The 22-year-old South Londoner is a fearsome prospect with 12 stoppages on a 13-0 record.
And if the Greenwich puncher does the business against Japan’s Fujimoto (21-1) then he can add the WBC Silver title to his accolades. It is also a defence of his WBO International belt.
Dave Allen had talked up a shot at Dubois and the Yorkshire man – nicknamed ‘White Rhino’ – would have helped raise the profile of the champion.
Martin Bowers, who has trained Dubois since he turned professional in April 2017, told the South London Press: “It’s frustrating in that Daniel is British champion, so ideally you’d like to be fighting for that. It’s the level we’re at.
“But there ain’t no-one here at the moment. There was a competition at the weekend [UltimateBoxxer] where all the heavyweights were tied up in this contest.
“And the top five [in the UK] are looking for different things.
“They don’t want to be fighting Daniel yet. And that’s not because they’re scared of Daniel – it’s just not the fights he can bring to the table.
“In another year’s time that might be different. Daniel might be the person to go and get – at the moment he’s the person to go and avoid.
“A good fight in the future for us is [Dereck] Chisora.
“Dave Allen talked himself into a fight and then priced himself out of a fight. That would have been perfect – we could’ve defended the British title. We need to be at that level for another two or three fights.
“But we had to get the Japanese fella – because that’s the level we’re at. We can’t be rushing it and then people say’oh, you f***** it up’. We’ve got to be careful. We’ve got a 22-year-old with some great potential. But he still needs to be in some fights with awkward characters.
“I hope that’s what we’ve got this time. His movement is quite unorthodox.
“It’s a fight we need to be taking to be learning.
“We don’t want to run too fast. It would be worst to go too fast than too slow. There’s no need to rush. He only had seven fights as a senior [at amateur].”
Finchley’s Chisora has mixed it with the best in the heavyweight division. Whenever his career looks at a crossroads he has pulled out big victories and has won five of his last six – knocking out David Price last time out. So is Dubois ready for that challenge now?
Bowers said: “Next year we will be – I wouldn’t say now.
“We’re sparring boys in the gym who are similar to who he is fighting. We spoke to Frank [Warren, promoter] and he said: ‘Bring whoever you need over and we’ll pay for it’. We’ve been really lucky. That’s what’s helped Daniel improve so much – we’ve not just been sparring who we can get.
“Chisora’s having a bit of an Indian summer, isn’t he? Fair play to him, I like Dereck. If we do fight him it would only be business. He’s a prizefighter, so we’ve got to somehow raise the money he wants and go from there.
“If we keep bringing Daniel out and he keeps performing in front of the British public – and they see he is having progressive fights – I think we’ll get to that point.
“We’re in a great position. We’ve been very lucky and had support from Queensbury Promotions and we’ve got BT behind us.”
Quite how much of a challenge Fujimoto will pose at the Copper Box Arena is questionable.
His record might look impressive enough but it is littered with wins over journeymen. In his sixth fight he was halted by Solomon Haumono – Dubois is similarly heavy handed
This is his first time boxing outside Japan.
Dubois won the vacant Commonwealth title last time out in September as Ebenezer Tetteh, hopelessly out of his depth, was blown away in a round.
Bowers said: “He [Fujimoto] looks like an aggressive, come-forward fighter.
“I’m looking forward to seeing him in the flesh, to see how big he is. We flew in sparring partners from America that were six foot one – because that’s what it said he was on the internet.
“I’m hoping he is! There is no-one to verify it. I don’t know anyone in Japan. Normally you know someone who can go down the gym.
“Daniel caught Tettey cold. If he’d have got through the first round he might have caused a few problems.
“I don’t want to sound horrible, but he seemed to be caught in the headlights.
“I don’t think this will happen with Fujimoto. He’s experienced and has boxed in big venues.
“His background is mixed martial arts as well, he’s going to be a tough fella. We don’t really know what to expect. I’m not playing it down or playing it up. We’ll have to wait and see. This guy is a bit of an enigma.”
Streatham super-bantamweight Chris Bourke, also trained by Bowers, is aiming to move to 6-0 as a professional on the same show.
The former GB amateur has won four of his opening five bouts by stoppage.
Peckham welterweight Johnny Garton ended a nine-month absence from the ring with a points win over Jordan Grannum at York Hall.
The 32-year-old had not fought since losing his British title to Chris Jenkins in March.