Hall of Fame promoter Don King has always intertwined politics into his boxing events, though always with the goal of peace and harmony in the end.
His unbeaten heavyweight isn’t quite as inclined to promote that message.
WBA ‘World’ heavyweight titlist Trevor 'The Dream' Bryan has vowed a breakout performance in the second defense of his belt. He enters as the underdog versus London’s Daniel Dubois in their scheduled 12-round main event this Saturday at Casino Miami Jai Alai in Miami, Florida (Fite TV, 4:00 pm ET, $29.99). That has not deterred the 32-year-old New York native from his vision of using this fight to prove his place in the heavyweight mix.
“This fight is called ‘For Freedom and Peace.’ Before you have freedom and peace, you gotta have a war,” Bryan vowed during the final pre-fight press conference Wednesday afternoon at Embassy Suites by Hilton Miami International Airport. “That’s what we’re here to do.
“I’m not just somebody you gonna walk through, I’ll tell you right now. This will be a hard night for (Dubois). I’m Trevor Bryan, The Dream. On June 11, I’m gonna be this guy’s nightmare.”
Bryan won an interim version of the WBA heavyweight title with a fourth-round knockout of BJ Flores in August 2018. The win was followed by an unwelcome 29-month ring hiatus while waiting out several delays in a fight with then-WBA ‘World’ titlist Mahmoud Charr, with their fight canceled twice and Charr eventually demoted to WBA ‘Champion in Recess.’
The vacant belt was scooped up by Bryan following an eleventh-round knockout of faded former WBC heavyweight titlist Bermane Stiverne last January 29 at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in his adopted hometown of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The fight came in lieu of Charr’s inability to secure a travel visa from Germany, the same issue forcing him to be pulled from a rescheduled clash exactly one year later. Bryan once again went through with the fight date, facing and defeating Louisiana’s Jonathan Guidry via twelve-round split decision this past January 29 in Warren, Ohio.
On both occasions, Bryan and King both called for the unbeaten American to get his shot at the main WBA title. The belt was held this time last year by Anthony Joshua, who has since conceded the WBA ‘Super/IBF/WBO/IBO belts to Oleksandr Usyk in a twelve-round, unanimous decision defeat last September in North London. The rematch is targeted for August, with Bryan targeting the winner provided he gets past the heavy-handed Dubois (17-1, 16KOs).
Even if that fight doesn’t pan out next, Bryan still views this weekend’s clash as the chance for everyone to get in on the ground floor of the next big thing in the heavyweight division.
“I’m gonna be opening up membership for [Dubois’ team] to come on this team after I get done with this ass whipping,” claims Bryan. “They don’t know Trevor Bryan now, but they gonna know Trevor Bryan after June 11. Tell ‘em to come one. I may even waive the membership fee, so they can come for free. I’m gonna be this kid’s nightmare.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox