Usyk vs Dubois- The Story so Far

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This Saturday the world heavyweight championship is on the line as Oleksandr Usyk defends his titles against English young buck Daniel Dubois. This will be Usyk’s first fight against a man not named Anthony Joshua in almost 2 years and will be his second defence of the IBF, WBA and WBO belts. Taking place in Poland, the fight will go down this Saturday night and will hopefully be fireworks from opening to closing bell. 

Oleksandr Usyk vs Daniel Dubois: The Rundown

The Rise of Usyk

After a lengthy negotiation with Tyson Fury, talks ultimately fell through and Usyk was forced to find a new opponent. While Dubois certainly does not hold the same name value as the Gypsy King and the fight certainly won’t be for the Undisputed Heavyweight Championship, the threat level for Usyk is still 100% present and the Ukrainian will need to be at his best form to avoid the massive power that Dubois carries. Formerly a cruiserweight Usyk worked his way up the pro ranks and would ultimately become the undisputed champion of the weight class by winning a tournament set to crown an undisputed champ. During the tournament, he would beat the very best in the world such as Murat Gassiev and Mairis Briedis. After defending his titles and knocking out Tony Bellew Usyk announced that his time at cruiserweight was done and that the next stage of his career lay at Heavyweight.

Switch to Heavyweight

Usyk would make his debut at Heavyweight against an unknown Chazz Witherspoon. After dominating Witherspoon, Usyk was paired with veteran of the sport Derek Chisora. Chisora attempted to use his size to bully the smaller man but ultimately had nothing to offer Usyk who cruised to a decision victory. His next move after the Chisora fight was unclear as Usyk was regularly calling out unified champion Anthony Joshua. Yet, AJ was looking to make a title unification fight against Tyson Fury which ultimately would have been the biggest fight in boxing for years if it had come through.
When a rematch clause that existed in Fury’s previous opponent contract Deontay Wilder was declared valid, the Fury – Joshua superfight was called off and AJ was instead ordered to fight his next mandatory contender which was Usyk. Heading into the contest, Usyk was considered by many to be the underdog while he was admittedly a more skillful boxer than AJ. Usyk shocked the world when he not only defeated but outclassed Anthony Joshua to win the unified belts. Repeating the feat in a rematch proved that it was no fluke and now Usyk will be aiming to replicate a similar performance, mitigating the size advantage yet again against Daniel Dubois.

Pound for Pound Number 1?

Despite being the smaller man in almost every fight he could have at heavyweight, Usyk’s superior footwork, movement, technical ability and speed ensures that he has been able to outclass every opponent that he has come up against so far in his career. He will be looking to do the same to Daniel Dubios as always he will be giving up a significant disadvantage in both size and power. This has never stopped Usyk before though, Joshua was significantly larger than him, as was Derek Chisora who Usyk also defeated before receiving the title shot. Currently in the top-3 of the pound-for-pound list, Usyk will see this as an opportunity to make a statement on Saturday night where a dominant win can put him back in the discussion to top that list, especially since his main competitors Terence Crawford and Naoya Inque only recently scored emphatic knockout finishes in their last fights. Ultimately a win for Usyk is somewhat expected, yet the only other heavyweight who can compete with him now leaving the pro sphere to fight Francis Ngannou in an expedition bout will further cement his status as the best Heavyweight on the planet.

Emergence and Reality Check for Dubois

Daniel Dubios has been a name heard on the boxing scene for years now, which has led many to be shocked by his young age. Still only 25 years old, the young heavyweight has been labeled as one of the brightest prospects in the division and after making his debut in 2017, was undefeated in his first 15 fights with 14 wins coming by way of KO. Standing at 6 feet 5 inches tall and weighing around 240 lbs, for each of the fights, Dubois looked set to bulldoze his way to the top of the division. That is until he met former Olympian and fellow heavyweight contender Joe Joyce. Joyce damaged the eye socket of Dubois so severely that Dubios sustained a fracture and nerve damage to the eye, ultimately waiting on medical advice to see if he would even be able to continue his boxing career. The manner of the defeat which saw Dubois take a knee and be counted out saw many fans and pundits perhaps unfairly call into question Dubois courage and conviction to become a champion. His stock after the fight with Joyce had not just fallen, but plummeted.

Rise to Title Contention for Dubois

Yet Dubois would indeed make a return to the ring and 8 months after the defeat to Joyce would make the walk back to the squared circle to face off tough Romanian Bogdan Dinu. The result? A second-round KO victory for Dubois. His next three fights would all go a similar way with Dubois dispatching the likes of Trevor Bryan and Kevin Lerena with relative ease. Four fights and 4 knockouts later saw him ascend back to the position he was in before and even surpass it, being named the WBA’s mandatory contender and ultimately earning a title shot at Oleksandr Usyk.

So there you have it. That is the story so far with Oleksandr Usyk vs Daniel Dubois. Can Usyk remain the unified champion and get one step closer to a unification bout with Tyson Fury and take over the pound-for-pound list? Or will Dubois pull off one of the greatest upsets in recent years at heavyweight and knockout the elusive Ukrainian? A feat that several of his countrymen have attempted and all have failed. Only time will tell but be sure to check in this Saturday night to watch it go down live.

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