Daniel Dubois envisions an all-British showdown whenever his number is called to challenge for the heavyweight title.
For now, it would require him somehow getting a crack at lineal/WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (32-0-1, 23KOs). The Londoner is also banking on Anthony Joshua (24-2, 22KOs) to bring back home the WBA/IBF/WBO/IBO titles he conceded in a twelve-round, unanimous decision to Oleksandr Usyk (19-0, 13KOs) last September. Their rematch is set for August 20 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, with Usyk as a healthy betting favorite to prevail.
An upset win by the former two-time titlist wouldn’t at all bother at least one contender in waiting.
“I hope AJ wins,” Dubois told iD Boxing’s Rob Tebbutt. “I can’t picture it in my head but I hope he wins. I hope he goes out there and puts it on Usyk, takes it to and really roughs him up. It would be better for me if Joshua wins. For the heavyweights out there, it’s better if Joshua wins.
“But Usyk is an amazing fighter, he has amazing skills and it wouldn’t surprise me if he wins again.”
Dubois (18-1, 17KOs) is one of at least two mandatory challengers in waiting.
He earned that distinction with a fourth-round knockout of unbeaten Trevor Bryan, claiming the secondary version of the WBA title in their June 11 clash in Miami. Joe Joyce (14-0, 13KOs), Dubois’ countryman and lone career conqueror, is the WBO mandatory challenger while the IBF challenger will be decided when Filip Hrgovic (14-0, 12KOs) and Zhang Zhilei (23-0-1, 18KOs) collide in a final eliminator on the Usyk-Joshua undercard.
The right break in the rotation could see Dubois advance to the front of the line, which he hopes will come against Joshua for several reasons. Such a clash would be a massive sell anywhere in the U.K., along with his belief that their styles would produce a greater action fight.
“AJ is a fellow Brit,” noted Dubois, who is currently riding a three-fight knockout streak. “Of course AJ, I hope he wins. We’re both big punchers. It goes without saying. Usyk is a trickier fighter to me. He hits you with shots where you don’t know where they’re coming from.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox