WBA mandatory challenger Daniel Dubois is officially set to take on heavyweight world champion Oleksandr Usyk in Poland on August 26th. The news was announced on July 6th which means that Dubois will have seven weeks to prepare for the biggest fight of his career. Ultimately, there is no room for a misstep on account of the fact that Dubois has already surrendered his undefeated record when he lost to Joe Joyce in November 2020; it is make or break for the Englishman at the Tarczynski Arena.
Can he do it?
The odds are stacked against Dubois
Ominously, the early odds released for the fight are stacked against Dubois. In particular, anyone betting with Betfair will see that the 25-year-old is priced as long as 17/2 while Usyk is at just 1/18. The main takeaway here is that there is no ambiguity in these prices with an Usyk win forecast as highly likely.
BREAKING: Oleksandr Usyk has announced his unified world heavyweight title defence against Daniel Dubois in Poland on August 26 🥊 pic.twitter.com/cuk6JsIBGt
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) July 6, 2023
With this in mind, have the bookies overpriced Dubois who was once tipped to become the next British heavyweight world champion?
The past haunts Dubois even if he has impressively moved on
Fans of Dubois will justifiably argue that they have owing to the circumstances that surrounded the only loss in his career so far. Specifically, the supporting claims will focus on Dubois’ personal decision not to continue against Joyce after being struck in the left eye. At the same time, the Englishman’s decision to take a knee in the tenth round that saw him counted out has earned him a significant amount of criticism with the heavyweight accused of supposedly giving up.
There are, however, two key factors to keep in mind that ultimately dispel any notion that Dubois threw the towel in without good reason. The first is that Dubois was ahead on two of the three judges’ scorecards when he took a knee. The second is after being taken for medical observations, it was discovered that the 25-year-old had suffered a broken orbital bone and nerve damage to his left eye. Looking back retrospectively, the decision to see another day by not risking further injury against the dangerous Joyce was the correct one.
Daniel Dubois takes a knee and is unable to get back up 🤯
— Boxing on BT Sport 🥊 (@BTSportBoxing) November 28, 2020
Additionally, there has been further vindication for Dubois’ actions after he bounced back to win the next four fights in his career, all by way of stoppages. Dubois’ most recent victory came against the dangerous South African southpaw Kevin Larena at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium at the end of 2022. Despite being knocked down three times in the first round, Dubois would go on to take complete control of the contest and win the bout just two rounds later.
Once again, this illustrated Dubois’ knack for staging a comeback when all hope seemed lost.
Don’t touch the money just yet
The overall conclusion has to be that Dubois will arrive at the Tarczynski Arena in Wroclaw, Poland with a better chance of becoming world champion than his current odds suggest. Of course, the Englishman is by no means favourite but after emphatically silencing his critics since his loss to Joyce, it would be foolish to completely write Dubois off.