In a way, Eddie Hearn is a fan of Daniel Dubois. The longtime promoter enjoys watching the British native enter the ring with his muscles bulging everywhere before he ultimately leaves his opponents unconscious.
For the 25-year-old heavyweight contender, his biggest weapon is his ability to end a fight within the blink of an eye. But while he’s proven that he can crack with the best of them, Hearn isn’t convinced that he can dig deep enough when things aren’t going in his favor.
On November 28th, 2018, Hearn first started noticing the signs. On the night, Dubois (19-2, 18 KOs) was expected to pulverize Joe Joyce. Initially, everything was going according to plan. Dubois pounded his man for much of their clash, landing the sort of shots that could put down a rhino. Joyce, however, despite eating lefts and rights all night, walked straight ahead.
A consistent jab began to knock back the head of Dubois. It seemed tenuous until his left eye began to swell. At the midway point of the 10th, Joyce continued to hammer away, forcing Dubois to take a knee. Ten seconds later, he was officially counted out.
Four consecutive knockout victories seemed to put the gigantic Britt back on track. The work that he put in landed him a recent shot against Oleksandr Usyk, the divisions WBA, WBO, and IBF champion.
From the beginning, Usyk used his feet to dance his way to an early lead. Ostensibly fighting in quicksand, Dubois found it difficult to land the sort of game-changing blows that always bailed him out of trouble. In the fifth, however, what appeared to be a clean body shot, floored Usyk. Once it was deemed a low blow, nevertheless, Dubois fought listlessly for the remainder of their showdown.
Eventually, Dubois met his demise in the ninth. A sharp jab during the frame sent him down to the canvas. And while he was cognizant as referee Luis Pabon issued his count, Dubois was unable to continue.
In a way, Hearn was disgusted. Matchroom’s head honcho watched every second of their clash. Although he had a feeling that Usyk would prove to be too much, he was hoping that Dubois would show more fighting spirit. That, ultimately, is the final piece separating him from being just a good heavyweight to one of the best.
“To make it to the elite level, you got to get up,” said Hearn during an interview with Matchroom Boxing. “Daniel Dubois has to show more resilience.”