Daniel Dubois is nearing a point where the only fighting he has to worry about will take place in the ring.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that significant progress has been made in settling an active lawsuit that the British heavyweight has filed against Don King Productions earlier this month. Dubois has yet to be paid in full for his fourth-round knockout of Trevor Bryan, which headlined a June 11 show promoted by DKP in Miami. However, recent dialogue between parties suggests the matter could be resolved in the coming days.
“We have settled and Dubois will be paid in full,” Leon Margules, Dubois’ hired attorney for the case, informed BoxingScene.com, clarifying a report from the Daily Mail suggesting a settlement was reached in lieu of full payment.
The case was filed on August 1 with the 17th Judicial Circuit of the Circuit Court for Broward County, Florida, alleging an outstanding debt between $463,274.32 and $938,274.32 stemming from the Don King-distributed Pay-Per-View event. The disparity between the figures was due to the uncertainty in whether King paid Dubois’s sanctioning fees to the WBA and/or taxes to the U.S. Department of Treasury.
The June 11 fight was contested for a secondary version of the WBA heavyweight title that Bryan (22-1, 15KOs) has held since last January. King secured the rights to the mandatory title fight after submitting a winning purse bid amount of $3,116,001 on March 21, outpacing Frank Warren—Dubois’ promoter and head of Queensberry Promotions, who bid $2,503,000 in hopes of bringing the fight to England.
Dubois was entitled to 45 percent of the winning bid, totaling $1,402,200.45, as a former interim titlist whose status was converted to mandatory challenger after the WBA eliminated all interim titles last summer. From that amount, Dubois’ side credited $475,000 from final payment for monies received through a license fee from BT Sport, which carried the event live in the UK. Dubois was also contracted to pay three percent of his purse in sanctioning fees, totaling $42,0661.01.
The fight saw Dubois manhandle Bryan before knocking out the American in the fourth round to earn his place in line for a shot at the full WBA heavyweight title. Dubois remains one of three mandatory challengers in waiting for unified WBA ‘Super’/IBF/WBO/IBO heavyweight titlist Oleksandr Usyk (20-0, 13KOs), who recently defended his crown in a repeat win over Dubois’ countryman and former two-time unified titlist Anthony Joshua (24-3, 22KOs) this past Saturday in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
It is not believed that Dubois’ next fight will be for the heavyweight championship, though there were reasonable expectations to have been paid for his last fight to have taken place. Instead, Dubois and his team departed Miami with nothing but a litany of excuses from King as to why the Hall of Fame promoter refused to release his paycheck.
Dubois and Warren remained mum on the issue in the weeks that followed, until reaching a point where legal action was required. Dubois rendered the services of Margules, a longtime promoter and boxing attorney with an impeccable reputation in the courtroom.
The matter was also under investigation by the Florida State Boxing Commission from mid-to-late June.
King’s response to the matter came only through a pair of strongly worded and damning press releases. King—through his publicity team—alleged that Warren has carried a six-figure debt dating back more than twenty years, along with claiming that the British promoter is among an active list of boxing personalities unable to travel to the U.S. from the UK.
In the first press release on August 3–two days after Dubois filed his lawsuit—King claimed to have already paid Dubois’ $420,660.12 foreign tax to the IRS. It was also alleged that the American promoter made contact with Dubois and his father in efforts to rectify the matter.
“I’ve told them the money was in escrow and waiting for DuBois’ promoter and manager, Frank Warren, the wiring instructions,” King claimed. “Did Frank lose my number? He knows where to reach me.”
The same press release quoted Tony Gonzalez, King’s lawyer and who is also a boxing manager, claiming that DKP complied with instructions by the Florida commission to place $134,000 in escrow. The amount was determined by DKP as the final balance due to Dubois “after applying a setoff of $319,000 for outstanding monies owed DKP by Mr. Warren. Also, all sanction fees owed by Mr. Dubois were paid in full to the WBA.”
A follow-up statement on August 6 quoted King in an open letter alleging that he was owed $200,000 by Warren, and the amount acknowledged by Queensberry personnel on site in Miami for the event.
Whether any money was owed by Warren was immaterial to the commitment King made to paying Dubois and Bryan per the terms of the purse bid as conducted by the WBA, who has been conspicuously silent during the matter.
The case remains active with the Broward County Circuit Court, though will be dismissed once the matter is fully resolved per the agreement reached between parties.
Dubois (18-1, 17KOs) is expected to return to the ring this fall. In a recent interview with Dev Sahni of The Unibet Lowdown Podcast, Dubois noted his interest in facing top heavyweight contenders—including countryman and former title challenger Dillian Whyte—while waiting out his due shot at the heavyweight crown, as it is speculated that Ukraine's Usyk will next face lineal/WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (32-0-1, 23KOs) for the undisputed championship later this year.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox