Daniel Dubois is set to make his ring return this weekend and has warned his heavyweight rivals they would be unwise to underestimate him following the first defeat of his professional career last time out.
The Londoner was ahead on two of the three judges’ scorecards against Joe Joyce last November when he took a knee in the 10th round, allowing himself to be counted out, after heavy punishment to a grotesquely swollen left eye.
After a period of rest and recuperation, having been diagnosed with medial and orbital floor fractures as well as retinal bleeding, Dubois (15-1, 14KOs) is looking to get back to winning ways in Telford on Saturday night.
Bogdan Dinu, who has won 20 of his 22 professional contests, will be in the opposite corner and Dubois is adamant the Romanian – as well as any future foes – should not read too much into his loss against Joyce.
Asked if he would relish opponents taking him lightly from now on, Dubois told the PA news agency: “Yeah, definitely. If they do it would be even better, they would be in for a shock.
“Maybe more fighters will step forward now and want to have a fight with me. That will play into my hands, just to have more experience and competition coming for me again.”
Dubois has the opportunity to claim the vacant WBA interim crown by beating Dinu which could lead to the Briton fighting for a secondary version of the governing body’s world title before the end of this year.
He added: “It’s a good fight back for me, I think it’s just about right. It puts me right back where I was, ranked again and climbing that ladder and pushing on to the world title, definitely.
“Now for me is all about the step back again. Once I’ve gotten this fight under my belt then I’ll be in a much better position to know where I’m at.”
Dubois last month announced he had linked up with trainer Shane McGuigan, who has coached a number of past and present world champions, following a very brief stint with Mark Tibbs.
The 23-year-old is optimistic the union with McGuigan can help him become more of a complete fighter.
He added: “He’s been noticing some things in my style and the way I’m throwing punches. He’s been watching me and telling me things that I can improve on. Most of all I want to learn and he’s there teaching me.
“You can’t knock him for anything. He’s had loads of world champions: George Groves, Carl Frampton and many others. For me it’s definitely the right move.”