Daniel Dubois left Miami with a secondary belt in tow and a mandatory title shot in his pocket.
Still, he believes there is work to be done before reaching a point of full satisfaction in his career.
The British heavyweight is one of several top contenders awaiting the outcome of the Oleksandr Usyk-Anthony Joshua WBA/IBF/WBO/IBO title fight rematch on August 20 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The show also includes an IBF title eliminator between unbeaten heavyweights Filip Hrgovic and Zhang Zhilei, which will leave a third mandatory challenger eyeing a shot at the unified crown.
Dubois (18-1, 17KOs) is the WBA ‘World’ titlist, while his countryman and lone conqueror Joe Joyce (14-0, 13KOs) is the WBO mandatory. While there is the temptation to avenge his lone defeat, there are other quality domestic matches that he feels can help properly prepare for such a moment.
“I want to fight a step-up, a real fight,” Dubois told iD Boxing’s Rob Tebbutt. “Someone like [Derek] Chisora or Dillian Whyte. These are the guys I need to fight next, in the next step in my career. These are the guys that will give me a battle, test my chin out.
“I want to give the fans excitement. Settle a few things out and get it on.”
Either heavyweight would represent a high-profile option for London’s Dubois, who has won three straight since a November 2020 knockout loss to Joyce. Dubois has fought in the U.S. in each of his last two starts, including a fourth-round stoppage of unbeaten Trevor Bryan to claim a secondary version of the WBA title.
Chisora (33-12, 23KOs) recently ended a three-fight skid with a debatable twelve-round decision win over Kubrat Pulev in July, and still represents a serviceable heavyweight gatekeeper. Whyte (28-3, 19KOs) has not fought since a sixth-round knockout loss to unbeaten lineal/WBC heavyweight champ Tyson Fury (32-0-1, 23KOs) but remains a relevant top ten heavyweight.
“Once I get through guys like Dillian Whyte and those guys, those are the fights that will get me ready for the rematch with Joe,” insists Dubois, who is expected to return to the ring this fall. “I need to be riding high on confidence and belief. He’s no slouch, he’s a top fighter. I need to raise my game, raise my confidence. I’m heading in the right direction.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox