On Saturday, British heavyweight Daniel Dubois will return to the ring for the first time since suffering two orbital fractures in his 10th-round stoppage loss to Joe Joyce in November 2020.
Dubois, who will face experienced Bogdan Dinu at the Telford International Centre in Telford, England, is looking forward to turning the page on the next chapter of his career.
“It’s really exciting for me to be back,” Dubois (15-1, 14 knockouts) told The Ring. “I want to enjoy the experience, the crowd at the venue, and feel the whole thing and get back on track.
“[I’m still] chasing my goal [of becoming heavyweight champion], going after my dream and fulfilling what I’m in this sport to do.”
The 23-year-old power-puncher is pleased to be facing a live opponent rather than cannon fodder in his comeback.
“[Dinu] is considered to be alright by most people,” Dubois said. “He’s put together quite well, his style is decent. I’m not going to knock him, he’s a decent fighter.
“I think I’m a level above him, and if I can go in there and put him away and do it in devastating fashion that’ll be great and a massive step forward for me.”
The Joyce defeat was a difficult pill to swallow, but Dubois has remained positive and is focused on the future.
“I was thinking about my performance and what let me down in the fight,” Dubois explained. “Did I really fight that bad? It’s been a learning experience for me and that’s what I have to put it down to. I have to let the injuries and [the loss] go over my head and come on stronger again.”
Dubois admits it’s one fight at time at this stage.
“It’s all about the comeback,” said the former British and Commonwealth titleholder. “I’ve not spoken much about moving on after this fight. It’s just this fight, getting the right team behind me and moving on to a fresh start. This is the start of my career.”
Joyce scores on Dubois.
Since the Joyce setback, Dubois has made changes to his training team. Following a brief spell with Mark Tibbs, who was unable to commit full-time because of an extensive workload, Dubois linked up with highly-regarded coach Shane McGuigan. Former trainer Martin Bowers will still serve as manager.
“Before all this happened, Shane was training my sister, Caroline, before her Olympic journey. I saw a massive improvement in her sharpness and boxing and thought, ‘I really want to work with this guy,'” said Dubois.
“We went to Mark Tibbs and it was a great experience. I only had one session with him, when he came back from America, but did numerous spars with Jimmy Tibbs in my corner and it was a good experience and good preparation for this fight.”
Dubois intends to showcase what he’s learned on Saturday.
“[I have to] prove that I’m back stronger again,” he said. “To show the comeback is going to be the best part. Everyone loves an underdog story, I’ve got to prove it.
“It’s not the end if you’re unlucky, like me, to get [the loss] early doors. Joe’s an experienced fighter; he’s been to the Olympics, he could have been an Olympic gold medalist. It wasn’t as though I was going to get knocked out. He picked me [off] on a couple of things regarding my style and I put it down to experience.
“I’m just glad to get back in the rankings and [get back] to where I was again. That, for me, is what it’s really all about.”
Dinu turned professional in 2008. The Romanian won his first 18 fights before tasting defeat for the first time against Jarrell Miller (KO 4) in November 2018. He then lost for the second time against Kubrat Pulev (TKO 7) in March 2019. The 34-year-old has rebounded with two low-level wins, moving his record to 20-2 (16 KOs).
Dubois vs Dinu plus undercard action will be broadcast live on ESPN+ in the U.S. and BT Sport 1 HD in the U.K.
Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at email@example.com and you can follow him on Twitter @AnsonWainwright
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