Home Boxing News Former cruiserweight champions disagree on Daniel Dubois’ chances against Oleksandr Usyk

Former cruiserweight champions disagree on Daniel Dubois’ chances against Oleksandr Usyk

David Haye vs Tony Bellew
Photo credit: Lawrence Lustig

It is no surprise that Daniel ‘Dynamite’ Dubois 19-1 (18) will enter the ring a sizeable underdog against WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk 20-0 (13) at Stadion Wroclaw in Wroclaw, Poland on Saturday night.

Ukrainian southpaw Usyk, 36, a former undisputed cruiserweight champion, is fleet of foot, has great punch selection and knows how to keep his opponents from getting set.

But not everyone is penciling in an Usyk victory just yet.

“You’ve got the challenger, if you look at the bookies, he doesn’t really have a shot,” former WBC, WBA and WBO cruiserweight champion David Haye explained to TNT Sports Boxing .

“It happens from time to time if the heart is there, if the mind is there, crazy things happen in this heavyweight division.

“It solely depends on Dubois. If Dubois does what he does in any of his previous fights, he loses the fight on points or by late stoppage. If he does what he does and goes into the ring like he did against Kevin Lerena, he loses the fight. It’s no secret.

“If he comes and fights like he fought Joe Joyce, those were his last two big fights, he loses. But I believe there’s a version that we haven’t seen yet. I’ve seen stuff in the gym, sparring, which I haven’t seen in the ring.

“I rated Dubois significantly better after watching him behind closed doors sparring because he was doing stuff that he hadn’t done on fight night yet.

“If he can take some of that magic that I saw behind closed doors, that I know he can do and implement it on Saturday night.

“When the lights are on, I know he has a shot. Not only a shot of winning but winning by a spectacular knockout.”

But former WBC cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew has warned against backing Dubois, saying a win for the 25-year-old Brit would be an upset to rival Buster Douglas knocking out Mike Tyson in 10 rounds in Tokyo, Japan in 1990.

“100 percent [Dubois winning would be one of the biggest upsets ever],” Bellew told talkSPORT. “Without a shadow of a doubt. Going off the form of Daniel Dubois, he quit against Joe Joyce and he was on the brink of getting done by Lerena in the last fight he had and Lerena is not even in the same stratosphere as Oleksandr Usyk.

“So, he was made to quit by Joe Joyce and he’s very nearly came up short against Lerena, so to go from those kind of levels to Oleksandr Usyk, the former undisputed cruiserweight champion and current unified heavyweight champion, it would be monumental.

“It would be along the same lines as Buster Douglas versus Mike Tyson in my opinion.

“He purely has one opportunity and one chance only and that’s a puncher’s chance. That is the only chance I’d give him to be totally honest.”