Usyk vs Dubois: A Preview
As the 26th Of August approaches we prepare for the first heavyweight title fight of 2023 which I suppose is a disappointing yet accurate reflection of the state of heavyweight boxing at the moment. Whilst boxing as had an incredible year with fights like Spence vs Crawford, Fulton vs Inoue and Davis vs Garcia with more exciting bouts to come like Canelo vs Charlo and Edwards vs Rodriguez. The heavyweight division which is commonly expected to be the most exciting has ironically been the dullest with Jared Anderson, Joe Joyce, Charles Martin and Zhilei Zhang being the only fighters to entertain us so far this year. I digress, Usyk vs Dubois originated from the failed negotiations of Fury vs Usyk whilst I, like many, am upset with this outcome. I do believe Dubois is a credible opponent and provides good opposition to Usyk and should hopefully provide a thrilling and competitive fight. Almost all of the boxing public along with Journalists favour Usyk to win and whilst I do believe this is the most likely outcome, there is something about Dubois confident sincerity that leads me to believe he has a valid chance.
Daniel Dubois can learn a lot from Usyk’s past opponents specifically Anthony Joshua and Derek Chisora, with Joshua’s gun-shy approach being an example of what not to do against the Ukrainian boxing mastermind and Chisora's suffocating brawler style providing a framework for some success against Usyk. It is worth noting that Dubois’s new trainer Don Charles is Derek Chisora’s trainer, a man who will have experience with the Ukrainian southpaw. This paired with Dubois’s youthful exuberance and hunger for victory could help him in the path to victory. If Dubois is to utilise the right strategy to tackling Usyk’s technical and clinical boxing skills, I personally could see him being Usyk’s biggest challenge at heavyweight so far. However, having said that I do believe Usyk is a generational talent and we are yet to see the best of his abilities. I have the personal belief only two heavyweights can provide a genuine problem or threat to Usyk; those heavyweights being Deontay Wilder with his deadly punch power and Tyson Fury with his superb boxing skills. Both opponents who are significantly bigger than Usyk. Which leads me on to Usyk’s achievement of becoming undisputed at cruiserweight and becoming a unified heavyweight champion in the modern era is a remarkable accomplishment. Nowadays, heavyweights are 6ft 4 and weigh 240 pounds so for Usyk to move up to the division of giants and to have success whilst giving being at an immense size disadvantage deserves its props and speaks volumes about his skill level.
Ultimately, I think boxing fans can expect a good fight on August 26th with Prince Naseem’s son Aadam Hamed making his pro boxing debut, following in the footsteps of Conor Benn and Campbell Hatton, which will be followed by the main event where Daniel Dubois hopes to pull off a phenomenal upset in enemy territory. I believe the first few rounds could see Daniel Dubois have elements of success however round 4 onwards I believe he will feel the physical and mental exhaustion of keeping up with Usyk. It would be naïve of me to say that Usyk is not the favourite in this fight due to his superior boxing skills, thus my prediction is Usyk to get a late stoppage around rounds 9-11 in a similar style to how he defeated Tony Bellew. I believe Usyk is more than capable of dealing with whatever strategy Dubois has and that his skillset will lead him to victory.