Home Boxing News Daniel Dubois’ knee injury should not be held against him, says new...

Daniel Dubois’ knee injury should not be held against him, says new trainer

Daniel Dubois (right) and Don Charles. Photo credit: Getty Images

It was expected to be a routine hitout for heavyweight contender Daniel ‘Dynamite’ Dubois 19-1 (18), but it turned out to be anything but.

Last December the once-beaten Brit stepped in to the ring at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to face South African southpaw Kevin Lerena 29-2 (14).

The fight did not go to plan. The 25-year-old Dubois was down three times in the opening round but rallied from that near-disaster, putting Lerena away in three.

Most people were unaware that Dubois entered the fight with a pre-existing knee injury that caused the joint to fail during the bout.

In the aftermath of the fight Dubois parted ways with trainer Shane McGuigan and hooked up with veteran coach Don Charles for his world title challenge to WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk 20-0 (13) at Stadion Wroclaw in Wroclaw, Poland on Saturday night.

“It hasn’t been well documented but he was told prior that he needed attention to his knee,” Charles told The Daily Mail.

“They didn’t know when it was going to go but it was going to go. They took a gamble and lo and behold it went in the fight. Remarkably, for a guy who was meant to be a quitter, [he] got up with one leg. Shane didn’t panic and Dubois still brutally knocked him out.

“They were flying with half an engine and landed the plane successfully. He never should have won the fight because he couldn’t put weight on the leg. Lerena was the first name on my list to come for sparring for Daniel ahead of the Usyk fight. He refused it and I know why.”

Of course Ukrainian southpaw Usyk, 36, is no Lerena. But he is not perfect either, according to Charles.

“We’re fighting a man who is very good, but very beatable,” Charles said. “I’m still finding things about this young man [Dubois]. He can have a ruck – I didn’t know that. He was sparring Moses Itauma, a very highly-rated fighter. They were having it off in sparring and that’s when I saw another side of Daniel that I didn’t know.

“There is a dog in Daniel Dubois and if he has to dog it, he can. When Moses came, he brought the dog out of Daniel. I thought, ‘Oh my god’. Me and my colleagues all looked at each other – we didn’t know he had that.

“The only chance we’ve been given is that Daniel is a puncher and we’ve got a puncher’s chance. Do you know what? We’ll take that.

“If it’s documented that Usyk has never been dropped, we’re going to be the first to do it. [Dubois] will go down in history forever and he’s about to do that. We keep reminding him about that.

“Muhammad Ali shook the world when he beat Sonny Liston. He repeated it again against [George] Foreman, who was untouchable at the time. It’s about to happen again. We are up for it, man.

“Usyk said he was hungry for this fight. We are starving.”