By Keith Idec
Nathan Gorman was there whenever Daniel Dubois sparred against Anthony Joshua.
Dubois’ upcoming opponent doesn’t remember seeing Dubois drop Joshua, as long has been rumored. Gorman didn’t say it didn’t happen during a recent interview with BT Sport, but he doesn’t exactly believe Dubois did that to the former heavyweight champion, either.
“I never seen it,” a smiling Gorman said. “Unless I turned around for a split second and he was on the canvas. But I’m sure you’d hear a big man like Joshua fall down on that canvas. But, you know, who knows?”
Dubois has acknowledged that he hurt and floored Joshua when they sparred in 2015, the year before Joshua won the IBF title from American Charles Martin. The undefeated Dubois was just 18 when he supposedly knocked down Joshua and the speculation clearly helped build his profile in the United Kingdom.
“Listen, the story sells, don’t it?,” Gorman said. “You know, if you knock out at the time the heavyweight champion of the world, and obviously the knockout reel, what he’s got, so he is gonna sell.”
The 6-feet-5, 240-pound Dubois (11-0, 10 KOs) is about a 2-1 favorite to beat the 6-feet-4½, 250-pound Gorman (16-0, 11 KOs) in their 12-round heavyweight fight Saturday night at O2 Arena in London. These unbeaten British prospects are very familiar with one another, as they’ve sparred between 200 and 300 rounds, according to Gorman.
The 23-year-old Gorman believes the 21-year-old Dubois has been over-hyped, in part due to the rumors about what he did to Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) during sparring. Dubois was respectful toward Joshua when BT Sport asked him recently about their sparring.
“Listen, all it was, it was a good spar, you know?,” Dubois said. “To be honest, I owe very much to those sparring sessions because they helped launch me into the professional game and, you know, put my name out there really big and, you know, so I owe a great deal for the sparring and the way I handled it and acquitted myself. So, yeah, that’s in the past now. We’re not going back there. So, it’s on and upwards.”
Part of the Dubois-Gorman card will be streamed live by ESPN+ in the United States on Saturday afternoon (2:45 p.m. ET/11:45 a.m. PT). BT Sport’s coverage of the card in the UK is set to start at 2:30 p.m. BST.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.