‘It always was a big deal for me when I was growing up’: Daniel Dubois aims to do the historic British heavyweight title justice when he faces rival Nathan Gorman at London’s 02 Arena
- Daniel Dubois will compete for the British heavyweight title on Saturday night
- Dubois, 21, fights Nathan Gorman at the 02 Arena in his hometown, Greenwich
- The Londoner one day hopes to win the world heavyweight championship
- But first he wants to put the domestic championship back on its former pedestal
Daniel Dubois aims to rule the heavyweight world before too long but on the way he wants to put the domestic championship back on its former pedestal of importance.
‘The British heavyweight title is a big deal for me,’ says the devastating puncher who fights the also-undefeated Nathan Gorman for that vacant crown on his home-town Greenwich peninsula this Saturday night.
‘It always was a big deal for me when I was growing up watching boxing on TV,’ Dubois adds. ‘It is important to be the champion of your own country and it also leads you on to other things.’
Daniel Dubois will compete for the British heavyweight title on Saturday night in London
He goes on to recite the names of such British heavyweight champions as Lennox Lewis, Frank Bruno, Herbie Hyde, Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury who went on to win world titles.
‘I watch a lot of fights on YouTube,’ says the 21-year-old Dubois. ‘Mostly the best heavyweights who have gone before me. I pick up things, not only from the fights but how they conduct themselves.’
He is particularly grateful to Lewis, saying: ‘Lennox has spent time with me and given me advice which will be useful when I find myself in the big situation.’
Dubois is not the most loquacious talker by nature and he is notoriously quiet in fight week. Not from anxiety, he explains: ‘I focus on what matters. I go over every detail of the fight with the people around me in the gym and my father – the focus, the strategy, the approach.
‘This is my person. This is the sole purpose of my life and nothing is allowed to distract me or get in the way. I put everything else aside to get the job done.’
That holds true, even while chatting to his family at home. He says: ‘I enjoy talking to my six-year-old brother. He’s into boxing and I like listening to what he has to say.’
Londoner Dubois, 21, fights Nathan Gorman at the 02 Arena in his hometown of Greenwich
He is also coming to terms with the media attention, which has intensified with each of his eleven thunderous fights to date.
‘That is a learning curve for me,’ he says. ‘But I understand it’s part of the job and I’m more relaxed with it now.’
He proves as much by smiling as he says: ‘It’s easier sitting around chatting with you reporters than being in the ring for a long, hard slog.’
Not that Dubois has had to endure many of those. Ten of those victories have come by knock-out, most within the first five rounds.
That casts him in the 02 Arena as the puncher against Gorman the boxer, even though the Nantwich traveller includes 11 KOs in his 16 victories.
That clash of styles should make Saturday night an even more attractive advertisement for British boxing.
Dubois v Gorman will be televised live on BT Sports this Saturday night.
Dubois pictured during a public workout at Old Spitalfields Market in east London on Tuesday
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