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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Latest Boxing News & Rumors Today / Daniel Dubois defies the critics, stops Filip Hrgovic

Daniel Dubois defies the critics, stops Filip Hrgovic

Publish Date: 06/06/2024
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

Daniel Dubois took a knee after Joe Joyce fractured his eye socket in 2020.

Several fans questioned his heart.

Former super middleweight champion Carl Froch and British champion Matthew Macklin said Dubois quit.

Dubois was ahead on two of the three judges scorecards when he stayed down in round 10. A week after the fight, an eye specialist told Dubois he could have suffered career-ending double vision had he not tapped out against Joyce.

He should have finished the fight, several wrote. There were only two rounds to go.

Most of us have never suffered a fractured eye socket, so for me, at least, the debate was shallow. I fractured my ankle playing basketball in 1977.

The pain was unrelenting, but an eye? The fear of going blind must have been scary for Dubois.

But wait, boxers are warriors. They can’t feel pain. They are there to entertain, no matter what the danger.

Two years later, Dubois was in trouble again—this time against blown-up cruiserweight Kevin Lerena. In the opening round, Dubois was on the canvas three times. The first knockdown caused his knee to buckle. He got up and weathered the storm, stopping Lerena in round three.

That knee, the one that had buckled, had sustained an ACL tear. Dubois was out of action for six months.

“I’ll come back stronger, ” said Dubois.

Dubois came back and fought multi-talented heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk. He appeared to floor Usyk in round five and was hanging tough until going down in round nine and being counted out. The body blow that felled Usyk appeared slightly low.

A jab felled Dubois. He didn’t get up.

Even his promoter, Frank Warren, said he should have beat the count, and “gritted his teeth.”

Many fighters called Dubois to task. Trainer Teddy Atlas used the “Q” word. Dubois laid low for a while.

He took on Jarrell Miller two days before Christmas.

“If he (Dubois) works his game plan for a couple of rounds,” Miller said on www.boxing247.com. And it doesn’t work. He starts to get hit, he crumbles.”

Dubois didn’t crumble, Miller did. Dubois was stunned but faced his demons and rallied to pound Miller out in 10 rounds.

The win was the most important of Dubois still young career. His confidence in himself, after many had criticized him, seemed restored.

Filip Hrgović, who Dubois fought last weekend, didn’t believe it. The two had sparred nine years ago when Dubois was a mere lad of 17. The elapse in time meant nothing, said Hrgovic. He was better back then, even better now. No contest,

Wrong.

Dubois absorbed right hand after right hand Saturday night and kept coming. He fought back, cracking Hrgovic with lefts and rights and opening up cuts over both eyes. The referee stopped the bout in round eight.

“I ate them shots, but it was all to wake me up,” Dubois said of his slow start. “Once I’ve felt a few shots, a few stings, I woke up, and I was just on it. I just thought don’t wait.”

He didn’t. He walked through it and won.

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