Heavyweight contender Daniel ‘Dynamite’ Dubois 20-2 (19) has a fan in Lennox Lewis.
The 26-year-old Brit was plagued by the tag quitter going in to his fight against two-time drug cheat Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller 26-1-1 (22) at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on December 23, but he turned back the mid-round rally by the 35-year-old American to stop him in the 10th and final round.
It was the type of performance that Dubois needed after his two losses to Joe ‘Juggernaut’ Joyce 15-2 (14) and unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk 21-0 (14) when he was accused of giving up the fight.
The victory over Miller was enough to impress Lewis, the retired former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world who was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in the Class of 2009.
“Daniel Dubois really came alive in the late rounds, using his jab, using his movement and caught a lot of confidence,” Lewis told TNT Sports. “He’s boxing a 320-pound guy and he was giving up too much ground in the first rounds. Really what he should have done was slide him to the left – allow a 320-pound guy to move, keep giving him angles.
“As he gained his second breath he did very well, he looked like a good boxer. He was using his legs and doing a little jiving. He learnt a lot about himself, that he can actually be in there with the big guys. It’s a big win, and now it’s off to the next step – who is next?
“I think he should target one of the big guys, because for each opponent you’ve got to train differently and you’ve got to throw in different combinations. He’s got a little bit more confidence, so he should switch up the opponents and get one of the big guys or the smaller guys; it doesn’t matter, because you have to prepare for each opponent.
“He learned he can be in there with the big guys. Miller was trying to test his heart. He was stepping into him hoping Daniel would punch himself out. He didn’t punch himself out. He was too smart for him. In fact, Miller punched himself out.”
One potential future opponent is six-foot-six Chinese southpaw Zhilei Zhang 26-1-1 (21), but the 40-year-old contender thinks it’s too soon for the reborn boxer to share a ring with him.
“I would say it might be too early for him to get in the ring with me,” Zhang said to FightHype. “I can see his potential, and I can see his mentality is being built stronger and stronger, maybe one or two fights down the line but right now it’s probably a bit early.
“It should be [easier than the Joyce fight.] I’ve been paying really close attention to these guys. I keep my eyes on them, so it should be pretty easy.”