Daniel Dubois turned a 50/50 domestic pairing into the biggest moment of his pro career.
The unbeaten heavyweight made a huge splash in the division, scoring a 5th round knockout of countryman Nathan Gorman in their British title fight Saturday evening at O2 Arena in London, England.
Knockdowns scored in rounds two and five paved the way for Dubois’ biggest win to date.
The billed coin-fiip matchup was precisely that close in a nip-and-tuck opening round. Gorman offered a greater variety of punches than did Dubois who generally came straightforward. Neither left anything to chance in a fast-paced round two, both boxers letting their hands go early before Dubois seized the initiative.
He also managed to draw first blood.
A fun sequence at center ring saw both heavyweight score with potent right hands. Gorman initially appeared to get the better of it but a preceding left hook from Dubois coupled with the right opened a cut just outside Gorman’s left eye.
It would be the least of his problems just moments later. Dubois stormed out the gate in round three, taking the fight straight to Gorman. The tactic reaped major dividends, as a right hand shot had the pudgy but talented heavyweight in trouble and with a volley of punches forcing him to the canvas in a heap.
Gorman beat the count but had to withstand an ensuing onslaught from Dubois, who enjoyed by far his best round of the fight to that point. Round four was more of a cat-and-mouse affair, Gorman wisely sliding backwards whenever Dubois threatened to go on the hunt, doing just enough to avoid the incoming and leave himself in position to counter.
Dubois was content to play the role of aggressor, but at one point to a fault as Gorman set a trap along the ropes and was able to clip the Londoner with a pair of uppercuts. It only provided a false sense of security, however, as Dubois regained control in round five and never looked back.
Not that he would have to peer very far.
A right hand shot early in the frame had Gorman in trouble and also in retreat mode. His lack of incoming offense proved a disastrous recipe against a knockout artist like Dubois, who closed the show in a big way. An overhand right caught Gorman clean on the side of the head, sending him to the canvas for the second time of the night.
This time it was enough to end the fight. Gorman (16-1, 11KOs) believed he was up in time to beat the count, but not according to referee Victor Loughlin who waved off the contest.
The bout aired live on BT Sport in the United Kingdom and ESPN+ in the United States.