Frank Warren wants Daniel Dubois to impose his physicality and his will on Oleksandr Usyk as soon as their 12-round heavyweight title fight starts Saturday night in Wroclaw, Poland.

That is the only way, according to Dubois’ promoter, that the heavy-handed challenger can earn Usyk’s respect early in their fight for Usyk’s IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO belts. Warren hopes that the 6-foot-5, 240-pound Dubois learned what to avoid while watching footage of former champion Anthony Joshua’s two 12-round decision defeats to the unbeaten Ukrainian southpaw.

“He’s got to control the fight early on,” Warren told TNT Sports Boxing recently. “He can’t do what Joshua did, which was show too much respect, and was getting out-jabbed and outboxed by a smaller guy. He’s gotta get on. As soon as that bell goes, he’s gotta get in there and he’s gotta impose himself and use all his physical attributes against Usyk.”

The 6-foot-3, 221-pound Usyk upset the taller, heavier Joshua unanimously on the scorecards in their first fight, which occurred in September 2021 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. Joshua’s second loss to Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs), a split-decision defeat, was scored closer last August 20 at Jeddah Superdome in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

London’s Dubois (19-1, 18 KOs), who is the WBA’s mandatory challenger for one of Usyk’s crowns, is a puncher, but he’ll have difficulty if he tries to outbox the crafty former undisputed cruiserweight champion. Warren admitted as much during the aforementioned interview.

“He’s a smart guy,” Warren said in reference to Usyk. “Listen, he’s got an impeccable record as a professional and amateur boxer. He is probably the most skillful, well, he is the most skillful fighter that Daniel is ever gonna get in the ring with. But having said that, having said that, you know, if he wants to win a world title, then, you know, you can’t handpick who you’re going to fight, you know, who’s gonna hold the belts. You can’t do that.

“It is what it is. And if you want ‘em, you gotta go and do it. And you gotta believe that you can do it. And that is the most important thing – if you’ve got the belief, if you’ve got the skills, you’ve got the ability, which he’s got, [if] he’s got the belief to do it, then he can do it.”

Most sportsbooks list Usyk as at least a 10-1 favorite to defeat Dubois, whose lone loss was a 10th-round knockout defeat to British rival Joe Joyce (15-1, 14 KOs) in November 2020 in London.

Usyk, 36, and Dubois, 25, will headline a TNT Sports Box Office pay-per-view show in the United Kingdom and Ireland (£19.95; 6 p.m. BST). ESPN+ will stream Usyk-Dubois and a portion of their undercard in the United States (2 p.m. EDT; 11 a.m. PDT).

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.