Daniel Dubois will have to beat Oleksandr Usyk without the help of trainer Shane McGuigan this summer, after it emerged the pair have unexpectedly split following a two-year partnership – plunging the bout into further doubt. The British heavyweight was forced to undergo knee surgery after tearing his ACL in his rollercoaster victory over Kevin Lerena last December in which he was dropped three times by his heavy-handed opponent.
DDD was somehow able to salvage his career by snatching victory from the jaws of defeat as he successfully blasted out the South African in quick-fire fashion after surviving an early scare.
Dubois is now the WBA’s mandatory challenger to face unified world champion Usyk and the fight is set to enter purse bids after the two parties failed to agree a deal.
Purse bids will take place in Houston on May 25 but even if the fight does go ahead, Dubois is now facing an enormous task on his return from injury after reportedly parting company with highly-rated coach McGuigan.
The 35-year-old Irishman was coy on the pair’s relationship in an interview with SecondsOut on Monday when quizzed on whether the Usyk fight had come too soon for Dubois.
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He said: “It’s not really for me to say to be honest, I’ll let their management talk on that one.”
McGuigan was then asked ‘can you tell us about his kind of form in the gym?’ He then added: “No, not really. We’re keeping it hush.”
Dubois’ sister Carole Dubois will seemingly remain with McGuigan despite her brother’s split.
Reports have since claimed that DDD has split from McGuigan due to an alleged family dispute that has been kept under wraps.
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The 25-year-old heavyweight has recorded four successive stoppage victories under McGuigan after pairing up with the trainer in May 2021 following his savage defeat to Joe Joyce.
Dubois has beaten Bogdan Dinu, Joe Cusumano, Trevor Bryan for the WBA interim title and Lerena during that time frame as he now prepares for the biggest challenge of his career against the WBA (Super), IBF and WBO heavyweight champion of the world.
Speaking to talkSPORT, Usyk’s promoter Alex Krassyuk made it clear the Ukrainian will not be taking the fight lightly, claiming even the biggest underdogs have a chance of victory in heavyweight boxing.
When asked if Dubois could cause an upset, he responded: “Otherwise there would be no fight. Everyone can knock the guy out when he comes to the ring.
“Just remember when Hasim Rahman fought Lennox Lewis for the first time. Who could imagine? No-one could, and the same thing could happen in this fight.
“But, Usyk is really professional and he takes it really seriously no matter who his opponent is, the training camp is the same, same exercises, same discipline, same regime, getting up at 5am, it’s the same.
“The thing that can differ is the motivation, because when you’re supposed to fight Tyson Fury you have in your mind that you’re going to overcome a substantial challenge in your life.
“But, when it comes to Daniel Dubois, who is the underdog in the fight, it swaps the mindset, but for Usyk it is absolutely manageable.”
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