Daniel Dubois has spoken for the first time since he lost his unbeaten record to fellow British heavyweight Joe Joyce in November and has come out swinging, refuting suggestions that he quit in the 10th round after fracturing his eye socket and taking a knee, although he did admit to panicking in the ring.
“It was many things. I felt the pain and what was happening in my eye. It was just in that moment,” he explained to Frank Warren's Queensberry Promotions YouTube channel. “I was a bit frantic, panicking. I took a knee and the rest is history, but after all that, I'm not going to let this stop me, set me back, hold me back. I'm going to come forward and come through this and improve, and work on what I need to work on."
The 6ft 5in ‘Dynamite’, who had been unbeaten in his first 15 fights before he came a cropper against Joyce, was honest in his summary of the fight and has vowed to move forward, even if he doesn’t want to watch it back again.
“It’s a massive setback for me, I’ve had to take some positives and the negative as well. I’ve taken it all on board. Right now I just want to vent my frustration out and get back in the gym and get back on course, see where I’m at, what level I’m at. Really start fresh again, start from the basics like I’ve just turned pro. It showed me a few things I’ve got to take heed of.
“A number of things went wrong. But on the night he had a sharper jab and the eye went, of course, but it was a nip-and-tuck fight. But I’ll build myself up again and fight whoever I’ve got to fight. I’d love to have some revenge and have that clash again, but right now I’ve just got to take it on board and move forward, get back to my basics with boxing and start from scratch
“[I won’t watch it back.] Once is enough. It’s a memory, and it’s a bad memory, but I’ve got to use that.”
It has now been confirmed that Dubois will move ahead with a new coach after he parted ways with Martin Bowers. Mark Tibbs and his legendary father Jimmy will now hope to lead Dubois’ comeback, in a new era for the 23-year-old.
“I am moving on now with Mark and Jimmy Tibbs as my trainers and I think their experience will really help me, moving forward in my career. I want a fresh start and hopefully they can show me things. Mark and Jimmy are deep in boxing and have been at world title level with people like Billy Joe Saunders and Dillian Whyte.
“I really need a fresh start and I need to do what is best for me really. Martin and Tony did a tremendous job, it was a great few years and I am very grateful, we had a fantastic journey.”
Dubois' left eye, which was sealed shut at the end of the fight as he fractured his eye socket, looked much better as he spoke over video call about his road to recovery, although no fight is lined up just yet.
“I’m just waiting to get the doctor’s all-clear report, then I’ll know where I’m at. They told me that it should be around five months or so, and it’s been about three months or something like that. I’m still waiting to see if they see anything or what. But there are no vision problems or anything.”