Home Boxing News Frank Warren confident Daniel Dubois can spring the upset on Oleksandr Usyk...

Frank Warren confident Daniel Dubois can spring the upset on Oleksandr Usyk on Saturday

Oleksandr Usyk and Daniel Dubois. Photo credit: Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

Heavyweight contender Daniel ‘Dynamite’ Dubois 19-1 (18) will need to make an early statement when he challenges unified champion Oleksandr Usyk 20-0 (13) at Stadion Wroclaw in Wroclaw, Poland on Saturday night.

Dubois’ promoter Frank Warren wants to see his boxer take the fight to the slick-boxing Ukrainian southpaw from the opening bell, taking advantage of his superior size and punching power.

“He’s got to gain his respect,” the Queensberry Promotions boss said to TNT Sports Boxing. “He’ll have his respect anyway before the fight, but as soon as that bell goes, he has to impose himself.

“I think he wins it. I’ve said that from day one. He will win it; I wouldn’t have made the fight otherwise.”

The 36-year-old Usyk is coming off back-to-back points victories over Anthony Joshua 26-3 (23) in 2021 and 2022 to win and then retain the WBA, WBO and IBF titles.

A common criticism of Joshua in those fights is that he showed Usyk too much respect. It’s a view that Warren shares.

“[Dubois has] got to control the fight early on. We can’t do what Joshua did and that’s show [Usyk] too much respect and get out-jabbed and outboxed by a smaller guy,” Warren said.

“He’s got to get on. As soon as that bell gets on, he’s got to impose himself and use all his physical attributes against Usyk.”

While Warren is talking a good game on behalf of Dubois, he admits that Usyk presents a unique riddle in the ring that is yet to be solved in the professional ranks.

“He’s a smart guy, he’s got an impeccable record as a professional and amateur boxer,” Warren said.

“He is the most skillful fighter that Daniel is ever going to get in the ring with. Having said that, if he wants to win a world title, you can’t handpick who you will fight. He’s going to hold the belts. You can’t do that.

“If you want it, go and do it and believe you can do it. That is the most important thing. If you’ve got the skills and the ability, which he’s got, he’s got the belief to do it, then he can do it.

“If he can catch him, he’ll gain his respect. He won’t knock him out with a big shot, but he’ll gain his respect.”

While the fight is on seemingly neutral soil in Poland, Warren is expecting the locals to come out in force to support the reigning champion.

“It’s in Poland, but it’s in an area where there are a lot of Ukrainian refugees, so I think the crowd is going to be 95% in their favour,” said Warren. “They’ve got it all to do.”

Usyk vs Dubois will be broadcast in the United States on ESPN+.