Heavy duty: Dubois vs Gorman presser

Paul Zanon
04/07/2019 10:59am

Photo: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Paul Zanon hears from promoter Frank Warren and heavyweights Daniel Dubois and Nathan Gorman at a press event for their eagerly awaited British heavyweight title showdown...

When Daniel Dubois (11-0) and Nathan Gorman (16-0) step into the ring at the O2, London on 13 July, they risk losing their unbeaten records as professional boxers.

However, that would not be a tragedy for either man, as promoter Frank Warren explained from the plush surroundings of Fredrick’s restaurant, Islington, London yesterday at a press event to hype the enticing British heavyweight title showdown.

“The British heavyweight boxing scene is flying,” Warren said. “Couldn’t be any better. This [Gorman versus Dubois] is the next generation. This sport is about winners, but it’s not the end of the world for the losers.

“I remember a few years ago I promoted James Degale against George Groves. There was a winner and a loser, but both went on to win world titles. More importantly, it’s about these two guys [Gorman and Dubois]. Their desire, their self-belief that they’ve got the beating of each other. We’ll see on 13 July how it’s going to all pan out. This is heavy duty stuff.”

Gorman looked very trim, sporting a tailored jacket which displayed possibly the most athletic version we’ve seen of the unbeaten Cheshire favourite.

“This is the best ever training camp I’ve had,” said the 23-year-old. “No stone has been left unturned and everything has gone to plan. The sparring, the running, the diet, strength work, everything. So when I walk out on 13 July, there will be no excuses. He will be fighting the best version of Nathan Gorman.”

But will the slim version of Gorman mean more speed come fight night?

“Hopefully. I don’t want to give too much of the game plan away, but these last 12 weeks I’ve been with Ricky [Hatton] in camp, every box has been ticked. We’ve worked on speed, sharpness, power and the key one, movement.

“I’m ready to work for 12 rounds at high pace and throw punches in bunches. It gets a bit boring and predictable when you just throw the jab, one-two.” Gorman continued, “My prediction for the fight, is a win for myself. Whatever he brings on the night, we have the answer for.”

Gorman, like Dubois is undefeated. So why put his record at risk? “I think it’s a no brainer. We’re under the same banner [being promoted by Warren], both young, ambitious and have that winning mentality. We’re also both in line for the British title, so why not. When the phone call came to fight Daniel, it took me all of 10 seconds to say, ‘Yes.’”

Further to Warren’s comments about there being a winner and a loser, Dubois gave his take. “I’m not even thinking about losing,” said the 21-year-old. “Not at all. I refuse to lose. That’s my mentality. That thought is not allowed in my mind. Right now, I’m lean, focused and ready to fight.”

What has the East London colossus been doing differently with trainer Martin Bowers for this fight? “We’ve stepped up the sparring, more rounds, but that’s about it. I’ve got a lot of power and strength and I’m ready to use it.”

Will Dubois try to extend his high knockout ratio? “The stoppage is definitely a possibility. If I see it, I’m going for the kill. I don’t take no prisoners.”

In his last fight against Ghanaian Richard Lartey, Dubois was clipped a couple of times. Lessons learned? “It’s in my memory bank now. When I’m in that situation again, I know I need to take advantage of openings quicker, keep busier and work the jab more. Things like that.”

A couple of months back it looked like Dubois was on a collision course with Joe Joyce. To conclude, Dubois reflected about the Putney man. “If we meet, it will definitely be a win for me. There’s a definite opportunity for a knockout because he seems to be pretty open. But listen, I’m not talking anymore about Joe right now. I need to take care of Gorman first.”