National champion Daniel Dubois joins the Islington Boxing Club family
- Credit: Archant
Nomadic heavyweight prospect Daniel Dubois hopes his latest move will further his boxing education and help him on the road to Olympic glory.
Dubois, who recently claimed his second successive England Boxing Youth title, will wear an Islington BC vest when he steps up to the senior ranks after signing for the Hazellville Road club.
The 17-year-old, who is already a regular member of the England set-up, has had previous spells at several other London clubs, including Repton, Lynn and most recently Dale Youth.
However, family ties tempted Dubois to make the switch to Islington – his sisters, Caroline and Jadene, are already members of the club, as is younger brother Prince, who recently made his debut in a skills bout.
“My dad felt it would be best for us all to be at the same club – and it’s a good club,” Dubois told the Gazette. “I sparred here loads of times before I joined and that really helped me through the championships.
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“I won that title last year but, as it’s my last year as a junior, I really needed to win it again so I can go into the senior championships on a high.
“My sister, Caroline, was the first to come to Islington because she was getting good sparring – she’s doing really well and she’s undefeated. We’re competitive and that helps us all to improve together.
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“There are some good fighters here. I’ve moved around a lot, which was good because it’s given me experience of different styles of fighting and different coaches, so I’ve learned as I’ve gone along.”
Dubois, who travels to Sheffield for training with the England squad every fortnight, has already represented his country five times, including a quarter-final appearance at last year’s European Youth Championships in Croatia.
He has also been successful at the Three Nations Championship and will box again at this year’s tournament, which acts as a qualifying stage for the Commonwealth Youth Games in September.
Domestically, Dubois – who was still representing Dale Youth at the time – was the only London boxer to return home from last month’s England Youth finals with a title.
And he secured the trophy in comprehensive style – having knocked out semi-final opponent Christie Bamber in the opening round, Dubois then recorded another stoppage in the final, against Naylor Ball (Guildford).
“If I know I can take someone out of there, I’m going to take him out,” added Dubois, who first began boxing at the age of 10.
“In the heavyweight division, one shot can change the whole fight, so you have to do that if you want to be successful. It’s also exciting for people to see.
“It’s all good experience, helping me to improve as a fighter. Boxing in the European Youth Championships last year, with all different countries and different styles, particularly helped me to come away better.”
The ABA have earmarked Dubois as a candidate to box at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 – and the new Islington member has revealed he was inspired by meeting a former Games gold medallist.
James DeGale, who won the middleweight title at Beijing in 2008 – and is due to fight for the IBF world championship at super-middleweight next month – also made his name as an amateur at Dale Youth.
“I remember James coming down to the club with his Olympic gold medal and letting me wear it,” recalled Dubois, who has also sparred with another Olympic champion, Anthony Joshua.
“I just thought ‘I want to win one of these’ – that was very inspirational. Next year will be my first as a senior, so the national coaches have told me to wait and try and qualify for 2020.
“I’ll be 22 then, physically more mature, and that’s the perfect age to go pro. The reason I got into boxing was to become a world heavyweight champion – that’s what I’ve always been thinking about as a junior.
“If I can get to the Olympics and win a gold medal there, then as long as everything’s right, I’ll definitely go pro and pursue my dream to become a world champion.”
Islington BC’s Ernie Swinhoe triumphed on a majority decision against home boxer Tyson Drohan on the Finchley ABC show at the Boston Dome.
Swinhoe, 12, landed a series of clean right-hand shots in the first two rounds of the 47kg contest, but the Finchley fighter gradually gained momentum and finished strongly.
Although Drohan successfully landed jabs to the target area, the Islington boy (pictured), who produced some good jabs of his own, had done enough to secure the verdict.
A rematch between the pair has been pencilled for Islington’s show next Wednesday at the Boston Dome. Doors open at 7pm, with boxing due to start at 8pm.
Advance tickets, priced at £10 (adults) and £5 (under-16s) are now on sale at the club’s Hazellville Road gym. For further information, call 07921 724 601 or email email@example.com