Daniel Dubois will potentially land a southpaw challenger for his next fight while in pursuit of a title consolidation clash with Oleksandr Usyk.

BoxingScene.com has learned that South Africa’s Kevin Lerena has emerged as the frontrunner to next challenge for Dubois’ secondary WBA heavyweight title. The fight is not yet finalized but trending in the right direction for a tentatively planned November 26 show at The O2, per a source with intimate knowledge of current talks.

ESPN.com boxing insider Mike Coppinger was the first to report the development. Representatives from Queensberry Promotions were not in a position to confirm nor deny the update, per company policy to not speculate on fights still in discussion.

Dubois (18-1, 17KOs) has been penciled in for the late November date since earlier this summer, though with a variety of opponents mentioned as candidates to man the opposite corner. The 25-year-old Londoner aims to remain active after claiming the ‘World’ (Regular) version of the WBA heavyweight title in a fourth-round knockout of unbeaten Trevor Bryan on June 11 in Miami.

The win earned Dubois a place in line for WBA ‘Super’/IBF/WBO heavyweight titlist Oleksandr Usyk (20-0, 13KOs), a Ukrainian southpaw who likely won’t fight until the first quarter of 2023. Usyk became a two-division titlist following a points win over Anthony Joshua (24-3, 22KOs) last September in North London, then defended in a repeat win over the 2012 Olympic Gold medalist and former two-time unified titlist on August 20 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Talks have since emerged of a desired undisputed heavyweight championship showdown between Usyk and Morecambe’s Tyson Fury (32-0-1, 23KOs), the reigning lineal/WBC king. Fury will instead likely next face Derek Chisora in a stay busy title defense doubling as a trilogy clash later this year, while the rest of the heavyweight players—including Dubois—look to remain sharp until their number is called.

Lerena (28-1, 14KOs) at least provides Dubois with a look against a left-handed heavyweight, though he has enjoyed modest success since moving up from cruiserweight. The 30-year-old from Johannesburg, South Africa is riding a 17-fight win streak since suffering a ten-round points loss to countryman Johnny Muller in November 2014. Included among the run is a revenge fueled, tenth-round stoppage of Muller in April 2016 to avenge his lone defeat.

Lerena is 9-0 in heavyweight fights, including victories in each of his last three starts at the weight since moving up for good. He stopped veteran fringe contender Bogdan Dinu in the fourth round of a regional heavyweight title fight on March 26 and soundly outpointed former title challenger Mariusz Wach over twelve rounds on September 17, with both fights taking place at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park.

Should Fury-Usyk come to fruition, Dubois will have to find means to remain active. If the undisputed championship does not come into play as the next fight for either reigning title claimant, there is the possibility of Dubois—who, along with Fury—fights for Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions—petitioning the WBA to enforce a title consolidation clash with Usyk.

The WBA mandatory has not been satisfied since Joshua stopped Alexander Povetkin in the eighth round of their September 2018 unified title fight at Wembley Stadium. At least two separate WBA heavyweight titleholders have been in existence since 2017, with three separate claimants until last summer when the sanctioning body removed its interim titles—which Dubois held following a second-round knockout of Bogdan Dinu last June.

Dubois has won three straight since a tenth-round knockout to countryman Joe Joyce in November 2020. Joyce has since emerged as the WBO mandatory challenger and currently holds that sanctioning body’s interim title.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox