Boxing-Dubois beats Hrgovic in IBF interim heavyweight clash

  • Boxing
  • Sunday, 02 Jun 2024

Boxing - Daniel Dubois v Filip Hrgovic - Kingdom Arena, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - June 2, 2024 Daniel Dubois celebrates after winning his fight against Filip Hrgovic REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

RIYADH (Reuters) - Britain's Daniel Dubois took a huge step towards heavyweight world title contention after stopping IBF mandatory challenger Filip Hrgovic in the eighth round of their fight in Riyadh on Sunday.

Referee John Latham intervened 57 seconds into the round on doctors' advice at the Kingdom Arena with the big Croatian bleeding from cuts over the eyes.

The fight was for the interim belt, which could become a world championship title if Ukraine's undisputed world champion Oleksandr Usyk relinquishes his or is stripped by the sanctioning body.

The winner could also be lined up for a title fight with former champion Anthony Joshua, who was watching from ringside.

"I've heard the next opponent will be AJ, so bring it on," Dubois told DAZN after the outstanding performance of his career to date. "I'm anxious to become the best, this is my era and my time.

"I'm glad I've got this IBF belt and on to the next."

Promoter Frank Warren said that fight could be at London's Wembley in September.

The defeat was a professional first for Hrgovic, who now has a record of 17-1 while Dubois has 21 wins and two defeats, including a loss to Usyk in August.

Hrgovic led the opening rounds but the blood started flowing from the second round and Dubois sensed events were going his way.

The Croatian looked out on his feet in the seventh, with Dubois landing some punishing blows and adding to the damage from the cuts, but somehow made it to the bell.

"The round before the last, I was getting to him. It was just coming together like magic," said Dubois, who admitted he had taken time to warm up.

"It's all a learning experience. I’ve come from rock bottom last year and now we’re back on top."

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Chris Reese)

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