Daniel Dubois has been putting himself through history lessons to realise the importance of landing the British heavyweight title.
With all the alphabet titles in boxing these days, the historic Lonsdale belt may not be seen as illustrious as it once was. But to be crowned the best in Britain in the sport’s glamour division is something special for the 6ft 5in Londoner.
Dubois, 21 , takes on fellow unbeaten Nathan Gorman at the O2 in south-east London on Saturday night for the British title. And he has been glued to YouTube in recent weeks watching old fights for the belt, including his hero Lennox Lewis’ 1991 win over Gary Mason.
“The British title seemed like a really big deal when I was watching boxing on TV growing up,” said Dubois. “It is still a big deal to me and it is a belt that leads us on to bigger things. Anthony Joshua won it and soon went on to become a world champion. Henry Cooper, Herbie Hyde, Lennox Lewis…
“I have been watching a few British title fights recently, the last one was Lennox Lewis vs Gary Mason and it was a spectacular fight that Lennox showed his grit to come through.”
Dubois, poached by promoter Frank Warren from the GB Boxing amateur team at just 19, is not just passing time watching the videos, though. He studies all the greats to continue his education.
“I follow boxing. I follow the best heavyweights around from before me,” said the 11-0 hopeful.
“I watch a lot of fights on YouTube, the best heavyweights that have gone before me mainly, and I like to compare myself to where they were. It’s good to see all they have come through. It helps me. I pick up little things in the fight, and how they conduct themselves.”
It’s surprising he finds the time and space to do so at home in a boxing-mad family where he plays a big role in the house.
Dubois’ sister Caroline, 17, is a hot tip to medal at next year's Tokyo Olympics while brother Prince, 14, is a promising schoolboy. But there is a third Dubois fighter on the way – six-year-old Solomon.
“It can be noisy in my house in the morning, but I let them get on with it,” said Dubois. “It’s great watching all the kids playing and being around my family, it helps me relax. I look after my six-year-old brother a lot of the time because I train early and get home in time to hear what he has to say.
“He’s so into boxing right now, just like I was. He is like a carbon copy of me. He is going to be the next big one. He tells all his friends about me.”
Dubois himself is a rising star with big ambitions.
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