Daniel Dubois knocked out Trevor Bryan in the fourth round to set up a potential fight with Anthony Joshua.
The British heavyweight is now the mandatory challenger to the winner of Joshua’s rematch with Oleksandr Usyk which is due to take place in Saudi Arabia in August. He also picked up the lightly-regarded WBA ‘regular’ world title, the inferior version of the belt held by Ukrainian Usyk.
“I’ve worked so hard for this, it’s unreal,” said the winner. “Now it’s official, now I can make some massive fights in the future; I’m so grateful.” Asked if he would fight domestic rival Dillian Whyte, who lost to Tyson Fury in April, Dubois added: “Definitely, bring them all on. Now I’m ready, this will set me up and I’ll instantly become a better fighter for this. In my mind I was the favourite and no disrespect to anyone but Trevor’s ‘0’ had to go.
“In the first round I was just trying to figure him out and see what he had. I said I was going to test his chin and I just went for it. He brought out something, he brought out a wicked left hand. It was a perfect ending and I’m just so happy.”
Dubois has now won three fights in succession following his stoppage defeat by Joe Joyce in 2020. He has since switched trainers and is now coached by Shane McGuigan who guided Carl Frampton and George Groves to world title glory.
Dubois, 24, travelled to Florida as Bryan’s fourth opponent in almost as many years. The 32-year-old New Yorker won his ‘world title’ by stopping former champion Bermane Stiverne last year before following it up with a split-decision win over the unheralded Jonathan Guidry.
Despite being the ‘champion’, Bryan was a heavy underdog against Dubois and it quickly became clear why as the visitor wasted little time in making himself comfortable. Having opened by jabbing to Bryan’s head and fleshy middle, Dubois soon began to introduce the right hand which has made him one of the most ferocious punchers in the division.
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Having barely thrown a punch in the first round, Bryan did at least show a little ambition in the second. But in opening up, he left himself exposed and Dubois caught him with a right hand towards the end of the session. The Brit continued his patient attacks at the beginning of the third round but a left hook followed by a straight right had Bryan in trouble.
Dubois was earning over £1million for his efforts in Miami after 90-year-old promoter Don King won the purse bid. And he landed the money shot in the fourth round when a left hook left Bryan facedown on the canvas before the referee waved the fight off.