By: Oliver McManus
Heavyweight prospect Daniel Dubois (15-1) returns to the ring on Saturday for the first time since his first professional defeat in November last year. The former British and Commonwealth champion (as well as holding a cabinet of WBO and WBC trinket titles) was outgunned and outmanned by Joe Joyce at the O2 Arena and cracked his eye socket in the process.
Six months removed from that loss, and now trained by Shane McGuigan, Dubois will be looking to loosen up against Bogdan Dinu and remind us of why we were all so excited about him.
In the opposite corner stands Bogdan Dinu: a man holding a 20-2 record, ranked #2 with the WBA and whose losses come against Kubrat Pulev and Jarrell Miller. Dinu, a bronze medalist at the 2004 Junior Amateur World Championships, was forced into the professional game in 2008 after being banned from the amateur sport amid chaos in Chicago. Dinu was due to compete at the 2007 World Championships before he, and three teammates, were accused of shoplifting at a Nordstrom’s department store on Michigan Avenue. Dinu denied any wrongdoing and no charges were pressed but he was shunned from the scene and reluctantly turned professional.
The reality of this contest, though, is that it is a perfect opportunity for Dubois to bounce back with confidence. Having had his heart questioned in the defeat to Joyce, the 23-year-old will be eager to put on a bruising performance over his Romanian opponent. The fact that victory comes with a lofty ranking with the WBA is merely a ludicrous bonus.
Nathan Heaney (11-0) faces Iliyan Markov (6-14-2) over ten rounds with an eye on big fights thereafter.
The contest, scheduled for ten rounds, will be Heaney’s first bout in front of fans since signing a promotional deal with Queensbury Promotions… and 600 of the 1,000 in attendance have bought their tickets from the popular Staffordshire man.
Heaney got his Queensbury career off to a perfect start in February when he comfortably outpointed Ryan Oliver. The 32-year-old dropped Oliver in the fifth round with a left hook en route to victory.
A former Midlands Area and IBO Continental champion, Heaney will be looking for more big nights over the course of 2021 with Markov an opportunity to stay busy and get more rounds under his belt.
Meanwhile, Tommy Fury (5-0) faces his first unbeaten opponent when he takes on Jordan Grant (2-0). Grant was confirmed as Fury’s opponent on Monday morning after heavy speculation that Fury would be keeping busy against Andy Bishop (0-14). Those rumours were heartily denied by Frank Warren’s PR team who insisted Fury would see a step-up in caliber of opponent. Technically, they weren’t lying.
Belfast’s Caoimhin Agyarko (8-0) is, at the time of writing, scheduled to fight Ernesto Olvera (11-6-1) but the bout has yet to be officially confirmed. Agyarko enjoyed a breakout 2020 with excellent wins over Jez Smith and Robbie Chapman: the middleweight superbly crafting stoppage victories in both.
Bogdan Dinu’s managerial stablemate Daniel Buciuc (10-0) is due to face Naeem Ali (2-67-1) over six rounds; George Bance will debut against Des Newton (8-18); Adan Mohamed (1-0) is scheduled for four rounds against Luke Fash (2-59); and Liam Davies (8-0) is slated for six rounds against an opponent to be confirmed.
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