Double-barrelled talent: Dubois and Yarde presser
Paul Zanon is present at the Anthony Yarde and Daniel Dubois press conference to promote their appearances on the 8 July show headlined by Billy Joe Saunders...
Without a doubt, Britain is experiencing a boxing boom right now, with multiple world champions.
More encouragingly, there seems to be even more talent in the pipeline.
And we’re talking serious talent.
I’m referring to none other than the 19-year-old, 6ft 5inch heavyweight colossus, Daniel Dubois, and the bone-cracking, dynamite packing and newly crowned Southern Area light heavyweight champion, Anthony Yarde (pronounced ‘Yard,’) - in the words of Frank Warren: “Two of the brightest young talents in the world, never mind the country. And I’m not exaggerating.”
Both of these power-punching sensations will feature on an eye-catching card at The Copper Box, London, on 8 July, acting as undercards to WBO middleweight title holder, Billy Joe Saunders, as he defends his strap against Avtandil Khurtsidze.
Yarde has a confirmed opponent in WBO European champion Richard Baranyi. A win will propel Yarde up the rankings and take him a few steps closer to his ultimate goal of holding a world title. But the 25-year-old Ilford native still has his feet firmly on the ground. He paid tribute to his most recent opponent, Southampton's Chris Hobbs, for putting his Southern Area title on the line and isn't looking far beyond his next fight.
“I knew he [Hobbs] would be stubborn and resistant, but I knew how the fight would end. Me and Tunde [Ajayi - Yarde's trainer] wanted to use the time in the ring, not just the exposure, but the learning that comes with those rounds. I was always looking for the knockout, but I wanted to take my time in getting there and landing the shots I wanted.
"Tunde said to me, ‘The shot for this fight is the body shot. If we want to get the head later on, we can do.’ I practised the left hook to the body, followed by the left hook to the head. James Toney, Roy Jones, Floyd Mayweather, are all guys that threw that shot effectively and I studied these guys. To get this to land in the fight was brilliant. Hobbs was a tough guy and a great guy though. A real gentleman.
“And in terms of my next fight? Right now, I’ve got my eyes on the WBO European title. It’s a very good title to win and it puts me in the rankings, I believe the top ten, which is massive for me, in terms of rankings, publicity and everything else. Right now, that’s all I’m really focused on.”
As for Dubois, who is already a feared man after only three pro fights, and understandably so, as nobody seems to be able to go beyond two rounds with him to date. Warren is hoping that his fight on 8 July can be for the Southern Area title, against Dominic Akinlade, which would be a dramatic move up from four-round fights to ten championship rounds.
The general consensus is that Dubois won’t need more than a couple of rounds, three perhaps, to take care of business. Warren explained that he has some reservations, but also confidence. “Ten rounds is a big step-up for someone who’s only had three fights, but he has the confidence, which in turn gives me the confidence to make this happen.”
In Frank we trust.
And if you’re wondering who the young lady is sitting next to Daniel in the above photo is, look no further than the surname for your answer - Caroline Dubois, who, like her brother, is a well-established amateur. At just 16 years of age she already has her sights set on fighting at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, with the ultimate goal of a gold medal.
And you know what? She might just do it. She’s already a two time ABA champion, a schoolgirls champion, has won the Three Nations twice, snaffled European gold in 2016 in Turkey and this year she’s looking to emulate that performance again.
After that? Don’t be surprised to see her joining her brother as part of the Frank Warren stable.