HomeSportDubois lightest in six years but heavier than Usyk

Dubois lightest in six years but heavier than Usyk

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Oleksandr Usyk v Daniel Dubois: The weigh-inVenue: Tarczynski Arena, Poland Date: Saturday, 26 AugustCoverage: Follow live text coverage and reaction on BBC Sport website & app from 21:00 BSTDaniel Dubois was at his lightest for six years but still weighed almost a stone heavier than champion Oleksandr Usyk for Saturday’s unified heavyweight world title bout in Wroclaw, Poland. Dubois hit the scales at 16st 9lb, with Ukrainian Usyk weighing 15st 10lb. The pair fight at the Tarczynski Arena on Saturday night. “Blessed be the Lord my rock who strengthens my hands for war and fingers to fight. Amen,” Dubois, 25, said after Friday’s weigh-in. Usyk is an undefeated in 20 pro bouts. The 33-year-old became a two-weight world champion by dethroning Anthony Joshua in London in September 2021, before beating the Briton for a second time in Saudi Arabia 11 months later. When questioned on the weight difference, Usyk replied: “For me it doesn’t matter. I’m a boxer. Maybe I’m not heavy like Daniel but I have [something] different. I have heart.” Usyk v Dubois: Can the underdog defeat the champion?A pro Usyk crowd – including a number of Ukrainians refugees residing in Poland following Russia’s invasion – gathered in the sweltering heat at Plac Wolnosci, a public square in the centre of Wroclaw.Surprisingly it was not a huge turnout, but the few hundred in attendance made their voices heard, repeatedly chanting the champion’s name as he made his entrance. Usyk proudly paraded his WBA ‘Super’, WBO and IBF titles and took in the reception. “I like it here. I like this city. It’s a good place,” he said after stepping off the scales. “Heavyweight is dream of all boxing. It’s king weight.” Having won all four world titles at the 12st 7lb cruiserweight limit, Usyk has only fought four times at heavyweight, against three men. But Dubois – who has won 19 fights and lost once, a defeat by Briton Joe Joyce in 2020 – is a huge underdog. There was little fanfare when he took to the scales, just a scattering of applause from a few British and neutral fans. The Londoner – wearing black gloves – fiercely clapped his hands and refused to answer any more questions after reciting his prayer and promptly left the stage. Analysis – Dubois up against it despite weight advantage Usyk’s rise to heavyweight has been nothing short of phenomenal. It’s staggering to think he was once fighting as a middleweight in the amateurs. Dubois’ promoter, Frank Warren, labels Usyk as “the best cruiserweight of this century” – a compliment sprinkled with the suggestion the champion is yet to prove himself in boxing’s heaviest division. But Usyk did not look out of place when he went face-to-face with Dubois, who has not weighed this little since his fourth professional bout. Visually, it did not appear to be a mismatch between two fighters who could be operating in separate divisions. On paper, Dubois has youth, weight, height and reach advantage. All those attributes matter, but so does movement, speed and ring IQ.Dubois is up against a technical mastermind. The last week has been far from ideal, either. After a cancelled flight and a taxi ride from Heathrow Airport to Stansted, he arrived in Wroclaw 24 hours later than planned. He kept a serious, almost angry, look to his face throughout the weigh-in. He’s a man of few words but is promising to bring the belts back to Britain. If he manages to prove bookmakers, pundits and fellow fighters wrong, it will send shockwaves in the sport and go down as one of the greatest performances by a British fighter.

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