Guido Vianello prepared for his fight with Efe Ajagba by sparring Daniel Dubois and Tony Yoka in London. 

The Italian heavyweight, who typically fights out of Vegas, has been matched with Ajagba on the undercard of Jared Anderson-Ryad Merhy, and is aware that victory will likely lead to a high-profile fight with Anderson next.

If Anderson is widely recognised as the world’s most promising heavyweight, Dubois was once viewed similarly, and Vianello, at 29 the same age as Nigeria’s Ajagba, said: “I have had the best sparring partners I have ever had. I was in London with Daniel Dubois, Tony Yoka, and three other heavyweights from England. 

“I worked a lot, and hard work, including my mindset, is the secret to every win. I am very happy, and I love everything I have been doing. Nothing can worry me this time. 

“I had my best sparring sessions ever [with Dubois]. They were close, and Dubois was very, very strong. It was good sparring, and I am more than ready for this fight.  

“He is a top heavyweight, so he is good. However, I don’t think that he is one of the best because he doesn’t change [adapt] much in the ring. Dubois does a few things well but not enough in other areas. To me, the perfect heavyweight is someone who can change his style in the ring, but he is okay and a top heavyweight.

“[Yoka] was very good, but we only had one session with Tony. He wasn’t in good shape because he was just starting back in training, but it was really good. I was happy about it. 

“Having good sparring partners makes fights easier. I wanted to spar with a tall, technical guy with a good right hand and jab. Dubois and Tony were very similar to this style, so choosing the right sparring partners was important

“I like Don [Charles, the trainer of Dubois and Yoka] a lot. He is a very good man. He opened his gym to me, and at the end of the camp he talked to me about my style and stuff in the ring. He is a very good man who I appreciate and I’d like to go back to his gym again.”

The 24-year-old Anderson is expected to defeat Merhy, 31, in the main event, contributing to the likelihood of him next fighting the winner of Vianello-Ajagba. Anderson is due in court two days later, because he has been charged with third-degree felony fleeing a police officer in Huron Township, Michigan

“In two fights, I think I can be in the conversation for a world title fight,” Vianello continued. “After Afe, I want to fight Jared Anderson, then fight for a world title. 

“I am not really impressed [by Anderson]. He is a good heavyweight because he is fast and has good movement skills.

“He has to stay focused because the life of boxing is tough. 

“A court case; problems; women, and many other things can distract you. Many beautiful things and many bad things, but the court is a bad thing. 

“I understand now how to be focused after my loss to Johnathan Rice [in January 2023] I reflected and decided I had to work on my mind to ensure that I am stronger than ever. I am doing this because the life is very hard. 

“You have to understand which direction you want to take in this industry, and that is the most important thing. It doesn’t matter how good you are in the ring; your focus has to be the first thing. 

“I feel sorry for [Anderson] because he is a very good guy. I do hope that he can fix everything in the best way for him.”