WE only got to see the new Daniel Dubois at the International Centre for three minutes and 31 seconds, and he looked very much like the old one. He boxed aggressively behind his jab and got the knockout when Bogdan Dinu tried to punch with him. The Romanian was dropped by a clean right hand to the jaw in the second of a scheduled 12 rounds and was still on his knees when referee Marcus McDonnell reached the count of ‘10’.
For Dubois, with Shane McGuigan in his corner for the first time, it was a 12th win inside three rounds, which proved again how devastating the Greenwich 23-year-old is at a certain level. The fight was also further proof of promoter Frank Warren’s ability to bring fighters back from losses. Despite his lofty ranking with the WBA, Dinu was always likely to fold early and there’s now a good chance that Dubois will hold a ‘regular’ WBA heavyweight trinket within 12 months of the first loss of his career – to Joe Joyce in November.
The ‘interim’ WBA bauble was at stake against Dinu, and Dubois is now the mandatory challenger to ‘regular’ titlist Trevor Bryan, who is managed by the 89-year-old Don King. Bryan is no world champion, of course, while Dinu was a fringe contender, if that – a fighter whose KO defeats to Jarrell Miller and Kubrat Pulev revealed rather more than the wins on his 20-2 record.
The feeling was that though Dinu was well schooled, he was a fighter who could be made to lose heart. Dubois didn’t give the 34-year-old the chance to build any confidence. He was quicker to the jab against the visitor in the first round and then put it on him at the start of the second, forcing him to the ropes. Dubois let his hands go, but couldn’t get a clean shot at Dinu’s jaw until he pushed out a slow jab, leaving the opening to crash home the right-hand finisher.
The majority of the 1,000 crowd were there to see Stoke middleweight Nathan Heaney. The 10-rounder with Iliyan Markov wasn’t the most ambitious of matches. Markov came from Bulgaria with a 6-14-2 record, was shorter by around four inches and counted out after 2-13 of the third. The punch that brought about the finish was a right hook placed behind Markov’s elbow that put him on his knees. The Bulgarian got to his feet just as referee Kevin Parker’s count reached ‘10’. Up to that point, Heaney was possibly less excitable than he has been. Defensively he still left gaps and Markov fancied his chances until Heaney started to sling in body shots late in the second.
Belfast’s flashy Caiomhin Agyarko has been mooted as a possible future opponent for Heaney and he was also in action. He forced limited Mexico’s Ernesto Olvera to retire after the third of a scheduled eight.
By the end of the second, Olvera was looking disheartened after Agyarko switched his attacks downstairs. Agyarko got behind his jab in the third to bloody the Mexican’s nose and mouth, and a flurry of body punches sent him to his stool with his face screwed up in pain. Olvera didn’t show much interest in continuing and was pulled out. Shaun Messer officiated.
It was a big night for Liam Davies, the English bantamweight champion recently signed to Queensberry Promotions. Boxing in front of his home crowd for the first time as a professional, he stopped Bulgaria’s Stefan Slavchev in the second of a scheduled six. Referee Parker waved it off after 61 seconds of the session after Davies had drilled Slavchev to the canvas for the fourth time. Davies had previously outpointed Slavchev over four in his second pro fight in February 2019.
Promising Manchester novice Tommy Fury had his first proper test as a pro and outpointed Jordan Grant. The 2-0 Scot had his moments before going down 40-36 on points. Fury held following a right towards the end of the opener and gave Grant more chances to land the shot when he went back in straight lines and loaded up on a right uppercut that brought him some success. Mostly, though, Fury boxed well behind a long jab and had Hamilton’s Grant looking disorganised in the third after walking him onto a right hand. Mr Messer refereed.
Buckhurst Hill teenager Adan Mohamed handed Hull’s Luke Fash an 18th straight points defeat, winning every round (40-36) for referee Messer, who also awarded a 40-36 win to Atherstone teen George Bance. Twice a European Junior silver medallist, the debutant defeated solid journeyman Jordan Ellison, from Seaham. Meanwhile, Romania’s Daniel Buciuc won 60-54 for Mr Parker against Blackburn’s Naeem Ali.
The Verdict An impressive, confidence-boosting victory for Dubois, who should not be written off after one defeat.