Daniel Dubois was en route to having a shot at becoming a unified heavyweight world champion.
But those plans have been tossed for now. Dubois reportedly suffered a torn ACL in his right knee, following his comeback-win against Kevin Lerena on the undercard of Tyson Fury vs Derek Chisora. Dubois scored a third-round TKO after being knocked down three times in the opening round.
“Well, it’s interesting. Dan has a tear on his ACL, and as soon as we got the news that he had a tear on his ACL, suddenly he was offered the fight, which he can’t have. He can’t box for six months now anyway because of the repair time,” Cyclone Promotions CEO Barry McGuigan told Pro Boxing Fans.
“He got hit on top of the head the last time, and when he stepped back he tore his ACL and his balance was very badly affected. He had to come back from adversity and he showed that he could do that. He kept his cool…I don’t think it’s fair to make him fight when he’s unwell, so he’ll need a leave of absence as it were, but he’s ready to fight the top guys.”
The win on December 3 made him the mandatory challenger for unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk’s belt. Dubois and Usyk were also ordered by the WBA to reach terms for a unification fight.
But now, Dubois’ injury sets him back to around late summer. It typically takes at least six months to rehab an ACL injury; sometimes, it can even take nine months.
This now opens up a bigger chance that WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury might go after an undisputed title fight with Usyk sometime in early 2023.
And despite Dubois earning the mandatory challenger status, many reports said that the order was not going through anyways. Usyk’s manager, Egis Klimas, had said last week that a deal is “almost done.” It’s being targeted for February 18, February 25 or March 4 in the Middle East.
Other than Dubois, the IBF also wants Usyk to defend his strap against their top fighter, Filip Hrgovic. But Hrgovic could be given step aside money.