This weekend promises to bring us a plethora of exiting fights from all over the world. An action packed weekend of boxing brings us world titles fights from Japan (the rematch between Rob Brant and Ryota Murata), and on home soil, we have Joe Joyce vs Bryan Jennings and a tantalizing British Heavyweight title matchup between two young and ambitious heavyweights in Daniel Dubois and Nathan Gorman.
This heavyweight clash for the prestigious Lonsdale belt has got fight fans up and down the country looking forward to potential classic between two of the country’s best young talent. Since both fighters burst onto the scene in 2017 and 2015 respectively, fight fans have wondered who would prevail should the two face off. One couldn’t be blamed for thinking this would take place a few years from now and possibly for world title honours, but very few would’ve thought this contest would’ve taken place so soon. But we as fans are thankful this fight has been made in what’s so far been a lackluster 2019.
Both Dubois and Gorman bring with them excellent amateur backgrounds into the professional game. Dubois was a five time National junior champion and a member of the GB Podium Squad. As a 19 year old Dubois won the GB Boxing Championships against highly rated GB Boxer Solomon Dacres in 2017. Dubois himself was on the cusp of going to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and was heavily favoured to bring back a medal. But the hall of fame promoter Frank Warren saw huge potential in the hard hitting youngster, and convinced Dubois to turn over and join Warren’s stable of professional fighters.
Gorman himself was a standout amateur in his own right. He won the youth ABA’s and was also a part of the GB setup; competing in the Three Nations Championships. Gorman also reached the semi finals of the World Youth Championships, but unfortunatley had to withdraw due to a damaged jaw.
This fight is unusual as it is exciting. The fact that both fighters are somewhat untested and still in the fledgling part of their respective careers, both have decided to do away with tradition and take the plunge to find out who will join the long line of British heavyweight champions. The matchup promises much and for the thousands tuning in to BT Sports at home and those attending the O2, we hope we’re in for a treat.
Each heavyweight has pugilism as part of their family tradition. Dubois’ sister Caroline Dubois is a youth Olympic Boxing Champion and his little brother Prince is starting to make a name for himself in the amateur code. Gorman practically has fighting in his DNA due to his traveller heritage. Gorman is the younger cousin of Tyson Fury, the enigmatic heavyweight whose exploits in and out the ring have made him a standout figure in heavyweight boxing. Interestingly, Gorman is also related to bare knuckle boxing legend Bartley Gorman V, once the bare knuckle boxing champion of the UK and Ireland and arguably the original ‘King of The Gypsies’.
In a refreshing departure from the boxing landscape, during the build up neither fighter has resorted to swear, curse and get in the face of each other. Both realise what’s on the line, and both have acted with a sense of professionalism which can see them being successful down the line.
Strong arguments can be made for either fighter coming out on top. Both are well schooled and both display a maturity not normally seen in young fighters. Frank Warren himself stated his reluctance to make the fight at this stage, but both want to fight and with youth on their side either of them can bounce back from defeat. In boxing, an undeniable truth is that a tough defeat can be as valuable as a victory. It can mold you, humble you and make you hungrier than ever before. Like a great man once said, ‘Greatness requires risk. That is why so few achieve it.’ Both are ready, willing and dare to be the best.
Dubois brings with him a power game somewhat reminiscent of a young George Foreman and to an extent Anthony Joshua.His main asset is his power, though he does have boxing skill.Like Joshua, there are questions over Dubois’ stamina. He hasonly gone the distance once with a vastly experienced Kevin Johnson, and one could say he lacked variety in his punch repertoire during that fight. Johnson forces a young fighter to think and calculate whether or not to take a risk, and on a few occasions Dubois looked out of ideas. At times Dubois is guilty of being flat footed and doesn’t move his head much, but when going gets tough like in his last contest against Richard Lartey, Dubois isn’t afraid to slug it out if needs be. His Sunday punch one could say is his straight right, with which has brought him ten KO’s in eleven fights.
Gorman, under the tutelage of former two time worldchampion Ricky Hatton, has a slick style with fast hands, feet and good footwork. Those assets alone can give any modern day heavyweight fits in the ring. Gorman himself has eleven KO’s in sixteen fights, though his power is somewhat underrated. Gorman has shown to have a high boxing IQ and has dealt with a big puncher before in ‘Big Sexy’ Sean Turner, which works in his favour. In that matchup, Gorman displayed power, accuracy and ability to deal with whatever Turner did and used it against him. There are times where Gorman is guilty of switching off and looking bored. In that I mean he wants to be challenged, to be kept on his toes. Gorman has what Teddy Atlas sometimes refers to as ‘a good sense of geography in the ring’. He judges distance very well and rarely get himself into trouble. Gorman also has a good inside game, which can be a factor in the middle to later rounds.
For me, I have Gorman winning the fight on points. Gorman’s hand speed and footwork I think give Dubois trouble throughout the fight. Dubois will be dangerous for the first half of the fight, but I see him tiring and with Gorman having the better inside game, Gorman takes a hard, grueling victory.
Nigel Hinds for SimBoxx