Heavyweight prospect Daniel Dubois not cutting corners ahead of Commonwealth title challenge

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Rising heavyweight force Daniel Dubois aims to add the Commonwealth title to his collection of belts – and no shortcuts have been taken against rank outsider Ebenezer Tetteh.

Greenwich puncher Dubois, 22, is one of the hottest properties in the sport and turned in a highly impressive display to take out Nathan Gorman inside four rounds to become British champion in July.

The South Londoner has only gone the distance once in compiling a 12-0 record in the paid ranks.

Ghanaian Tetteh boasts a 19-0 fight ledger but has boxed exclusively in Accra and is a huge 16/1 with the bookies to win tonight’s bout at the Royal Albert Hall.

But Dubois’ experienced trainer Mark Bowers has flown in quality sparring in the shape of three unbeaten heavyweights – American duo Moses Johnson and Dorsett Barnwell along with Croatia’s Petar Milas.

“Daniel came of age that night [against Gorman],” said Bowers. “He really showed he can box as well as use his power.

Daniel Dubois (right) knocks down Nathan Gorman during the Heavyweight Championship at the O2 Arena, London.

“There are always things you can work on and there are different things you do for certain fights. In that fight we worked on not leaning in or staying in after we had done our work, so that when he threw his hooks we weren’t there to be hit.

“But Ebenezer is not as tall as Nathan, from what info I have gained off the internet. Sometimes I think the information can be a little distorted for guys who don’t box in a major country.

“We have flown in three guys who are about the same size and height as Ebenezer and we’ve worked very well with them for three weeks. We’ve spent a lot of money. That tells you how serious we have taken this – we don’t want to leave any stone unturned and be made to look fools on the night.

Daniel Dubois (left) in action against Nathan Gorman.

“Daniel is doing everything the right way. He won the Southern Area title, then the British and the next step is the Commonwealth. We’re not looking beyond that. We have got to keep the boy’s feet on the ground – not get carried away with any press he is reading.

“We just need to keep doing the work and the everyday grind of it – eat, sleep and repeat, that’s what boxing is. It’s not a time to start believing you have done anything yet.”

It does beg the question how you do keep a talented but young fighter on the right track when the hype continues to build.

Respected fight website BoxRec has Dubois ranked number 28 in the world at heavyweight – compatriots like Hughie Fury, Joe Joyce, David Price and Dereck Chisora all realistically in his sights if he carries on delivering.

“Daniel is very lucky that he has a stable environment indoors,” said Bowers. “He has got a nice family unit and he is in the gym with guys who are his own age and are ambitious – like Denzel Bentley, who is fighting on the same bill.

“Those lads are level-headed and not getting the same kind of exposure. Daniel’s sister is following through and hopefully will do really well in the Olympics. All of that helps.

“Daniel is a pretty cool character. He doesn’t really flip and say a lot. He is all business. He’s on a mission. He gets his head down and does his work.”

Tetteh is something of an unknown quantity.

Richard Lartey, also from Ghana, came looking to trade in April and got taken out in four rounds.

“All you can do is fight the fighter in front of you,” said Bowers. “So I can’t judge Ebenezer on what I’ve seen on the internet, the calibre of opponent he has had in Ghana. It doesn’t mean he is a bad fighter or a pushover.

“I’ve made phone calls and spoken to people in the gyms there and the feedback has all been quite positive – that he is ambitious and hungry. That is music to our ears.

“I’m still a bit dubious whether he is six-foot three but that is the sparring height we have brought in. Most of the guys Daniel has fought have been six-foot four or taller.

“When you are punching down you can get caught with shots coming over the top. Two of the shots Ebenezer throws are hooks and uppercuts and we don’t want to be over-exposed to getting caught by those. With heavyweight boxing anything can happen.

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