Seven months after his difficult loss to Joe Joyce, Daniel Dubois is preparing to return to the ring again.
The 23-year-old has recovered from the horrible eye injury that forced him to take a knee and end the contest – now he’s raring to go.
“I had to make an instant decision,” he explained to talkSPORT on the end to his fight in November, which could have seriously damaged his eyesight.
“Looking back, it’s maybe the best thing that could have happened. I still have my eyesight and the injuries have healed and ready to come back.”
He also feels a world title shot still looms over the horizon. First, though, he must see off Bodgan Dinu on 5 June.
“Very excited,” Dubois told talkSPORT of fighting again. “I’ve missed it in a way. I’ve missed competing. I love fighting, I love competing and going for the ‘big one’ as the call it and chasing that glory.
“Can I still learn? I think I can, I’m only 23. I’ve got bigger challenges ahead of me and hopefully, definitely, a world title shot in not too long at all.”
Joyce, who was losing on the judges scorecards at the time of their heavyweight contest in November, has moved on to WBO contention since the victory while Dubois has had to rebuild.
The London-native expressed his belief that he’s still not too far behind the best in the business despite the loss.
“I need to be matched right and getting myself in good positions to fight for good titles and things like that.
“In the Joe Joyce fight, I don’t see it like I was on the verge of being knocked out or taking a brutal beating – I wasn’t. It’s little things he picked up on with my style that he took advantage of.
Mark Tibbs made the call to pull Billy Joe Saunders from his fight with Canelo and the trainer briefly linked up with Dubois afterwards[/caption]
“He’s an experienced Olympic representative that’s fought all over the world, a very experienced fighter so, I’m not too far behind the big boys,” Dubois said.
Martin Bowers had been Dubois’ longtime trainer at the Peacock Gym and while Bowers remains a part of the team, the boxer has sought a different training ahead of his return.
“It’s been difficult in a way. Some decisions had to be made and my career has had to take a step back really. I’ve felt the need to reflect on a few things and what I was doing in order for me to move forward again. I’m ready to move on now.”
Dubois had linked up with Billy Joe Saunders’ trainer, Mark Tibbs, but eventually reverted to his original idea of partnering up with Shane McGuigan.
“We only did one session with Mark Tibbs actually,” Dubois explained.
“After he came back from America from his fight with Billy Joe Saunders and after that session – I thought it was going great! I thought, ‘yeah we might be able to make this thing work’ – but afterwards he sent us a text saying he had other commitments and unfortunately he couldn’t train me.
“After that, we had to make a quick U-turn and get back to Shane [McGuigan] and you know what, before all this Shane was working with my sister Caroline just before her Olympic journey and I saw some big improvements in her style and her boxing and I thought ‘yeah, I want to try this guy.’
“But, we went to Mark Tibbs first so here we are, back again at the beginning.”
Dubois has been touted as the next great British heavyweight by many in the industry and with Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury hopefully fighting for all the marbles by the year’s end, Dubois wants to get himself back in the picture.
And the journey begins with Dinu.