Oleksandr Usyk takes on mandatory challenger Daniel Dubois this weekend after seeing a heavyweight unification showdown with Tyson Fury fail to materialise, and we've got everything you need to know ahead of the bout.
|What||Oleksandr Usyk v Daniel Dubois|
|Where||Stadion Wroclaw, Wroclaw, Poland|
|When||Saturday 26th August|
|How to watch||TNT Sports|
|Odds||Oleksandr Usyk 1/9, Daniel Dubois 11/2|
This year, the best heavyweights in the world have been more interested in trading insults online rather than punches in the ring.
Thankfully, that is about to change, with Oleksandr Usyk set to return to action for the first time since beating Anthony Joshua, for the second time, a year ago.
Fans had hoped that the unified titlist’s next bout would be against Tyson Fury to determine an undisputed ruler of the weight class. Unfortunately, that is not the case, as the ‘Gypsy King’ has opted to face former UFC champion Francis Ngannou.
On the other side of the ring will be Daniel Dubois. The Londoner’s moniker of ‘Dynamite’ is apt, as the 25-year-old is one of the most devastating punchers in the division.
While Dubois’ power is not in doubt, whether he will be able to land clean on a fighter as accomplished as Usyk most certainly is.
Boxing's glamour division has been home to some of the most notable upsets in the history of the sport; will Dubois be the latest to shock the world, or will Usyk keep his hope of securing an undisputed title fight alive?
The world heavyweight title fight between Oleksandr Usyk and Daniel Dubois will take place on Saturday 26th August 2023.
The main card is due to start at around 19:00, with ringwalks for the main event expected at around 22:00.
The fight will take place at the Stadion Wrocław in Poland, the home stadium of football team Slask Wrocław.
The venue was constructed for the 2012 European Championship and opened in September 2011 with a boxing event, the WBC heavyweight title clash between Poland’s Tomasz Adamek and Vitali Klitschko.
Yes. The fight will be broadcast in the UK by TNT Sports as a PPV event. TNT Sports is the new name for BT Sport.
Usyk is the heavy favourite to claim the win at 1/9 to win in the standard bout betting market.
Yes. Usyk is defending the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO world heavyweight titles for the second time.
Usyk has a perfect record with 20 wins from as many fights and the Ukrainian is a two-weight world champion.
The 36-year-old won the heavyweight gold medal at the London Olympics in 2012 and made his professional debut the following year.
Usyk became a world champion in 2016 with a unanimous decision win over the previously unbeaten Krzysztof Glowacki to claim the WBO cruiserweight title.
'The Cat' added the WBC belt to his collection early in 2018 with a majority decision win over Mairis Briedis in an entertaining clash, then unified the division later that year with a unanimous decision victory over Russia’s Murat Gassiev in Moscow.
Usyk made one defence of his cruiserweight titles as he stopped Tony Bellew in the eighth round in Manchester, before making the move up to heavyweight with a seventh-round victory over American Cazz Witherspoon.
The southpaw followed that up with a points win over Derek Chisora at Wembley in 2020 to set up a heavyweight world title clash with Anthony Joshua.
Usyk dominated throughout against ‘AJ’ in their first meeting at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to become a two-weight world champion with a unanimous decision win, as he claimed the four titles he currently holds.
The pair met for a rematch in what was a closer affair in Saudi Arabia, but Usyk managed to prevail again with a split decision victory.
Talks with Fury over a unification bout proved unsuccessful and he will now defend his titles against mandatory challenger Dubois.
Dubois has 19 wins and one defeat on his record and has established himself as a knockout specialist in the heavyweight division, with 18 of his victories coming inside the distance.
'Dynamite' won his first six fights inside the first two rounds and became British heavyweight champion with a fifth-round stoppage of Nathan Gorman in 2019.
The Londoner suffered his first, and so far only, defeat at the hands of British rival Joe Joyce in 2020 as he was stopped in the 10th round, but has bounced back with four straight stoppage wins.
Dubois established himself as the mandatory challenger for Usyk’s WBA title with a victory over Trevor Bryan in Miami in 2022 in his only contest outside of the UK so far.
He then overcame Kevin Lerena in the third round with a TKO win despite being knocked down himself three times in the first round.
When discussing the best boxers in the world, Oleksandr Usyk’s name invariably comes up, and with good reason.
Having collected every major belt at cruiserweight, the London 2012 Olympic gold medallist moved up to the land of the giants.
Despite being comparatively small for a modern heavyweight, Usyk has continued to be successful in his new weight class.
After halting Chazz Witherspoon in the seventh round, Usyk faced his first real test in the division against Dereck Chisora. Despite being outweighed by over two-and-a-half stone, Usyk handled the threat of the marauding Brit to win a unanimous decision.
After that performance, some observers felt Usyk would struggle against the true elite of the division, as Chisora had more success than had been expected.
The 34-year-old put paid to those theories by comprehensively defeating Anthony Joshua to become the unified heavyweight champion in 2021. He then repeated the feat 11 months later.
Joshua had no answer for Usyk’s subtle pressure and feints. The Ukrainian posed a puzzle that ‘AJ’ could not solve.
In many ways, Daniel Dubois is reminiscent of a younger, rawer Joshua. The Brit hits hard, but can appear stiff and robotic at times.
Of course, Dubois carries the power to hurt any heavyweight, but will he able to land telling blows on a fighter as skilled as Usyk? It remains to be seen.
|Footwork||Small at the weight|
|Use of angles||Lacks one-shot knockout power|
|Ring IQ||Takes too many body shots|
|Jab||Open to straight right hand|
By Shaun Brown
Three years ago, Daniel Dubois was believed to be amongst the most exciting prospects in the heavyweight division, a fighter who could be a future king of the weight class.
In the intervening time, his stock has fallen considerably. Primarily, this is as a result of a surprise defeat against Joe Joyce, in 2020.
Many felt that the come-forward style of Joyce was tailor-made for ‘Dynamite.’ Joyce has never been known for his defensive prowess and it was expected that sooner rather than later Dubois would find the knockout blow.
Instead, ‘The Juggernaut’ demonstrated another string to his bow, utilising a thudding jab and impressive footwork to keep his foe at bay. The 2016 Rio Olympic Bronze medallist systematically broke down his rival, knocking Dubois out in the 10th round, fracturing the eye socket of ‘DDD’ in the process.
The Brit's last bout also almost ended in disaster, against Kevin Larena. The South African is a southpaw, who previously competed at cruiserweight.
It was likely intended to prepare Dubois for Usyk. However, a left hand in the opening round from Larena caused Dubois to stumble backwards before hitting the canvas. The knockdown resulted in a knee injury.
Afterwards, ‘Dynamite’ struggled to bear weight on the foot and was sent to the floor twice more in the opening three minutes.
To his credit, Dubois dug in and rallied to score a third-round stoppage.
The 25-year-old has subsequently parted company with McGuigan to join Don Charles, who previously worked with Dereck Chisora.
Given Dubois’s struggles against Joyce (who is not known for his jab) and Larena (who is not a renowned puncher), allied with the fact that this will be his first fight working with Charles, an upset seems unlikely.
Although, James ‘Buster’ Douglas was not meant to beat Mike Tyson, so stranger things have happened.
|Left hook||Stands too tall|
|Right cross||Can be predictable|
|Good finisher||Injury prone|
By Shaun Brown
Let’s take a look at the tale of the tape between Ukraine's all-conquering Oleksandr Usyk and British hopeful Daniel Dubois...
|Oleksandr Usyk||Daniel Dubois|
|Height:||6ft 3ins||6ft 5ins|
|Trainer:||Sergey Lapin||Don Charles|
|Record:||20-0 (13 KOs)||19-1 (18 KOs)|
|Titles:||Current WBA 'Super', WBO and IBF heavyweight champion||Current WBA 'Regular' heavyweight champion|
|Last Fight:||W - (SD) v Anthony Joshua (August 2022)||W - (TKO, R3) v Kevin Larena (December 2022)|
|Oleksandr Usyk v Daniel Dubois||WBO, WBA and IBF heavyweight titles|
|Denys Berinchyk vs Anthony Yigit||Lightweight bout|
|Dmytro Mytrofanov v Hamzah Sheeraz||Middleweight bout|
|Daniel Lapin v Aro Schwartz||Light-heavyweight bout|
|Fiodor Czerkaszyn v Anauel Ngamissengue||Middleweight bout|