Daniel Dubois boasted a beaming smile in an empty hall on Saturday night, thinking he was the WBA heavyweight champion.
But due to the terrible way the World Boxing Association handles the belt policy, Dubois is no more a world titleholder than the lowest-rated boxer right now.
The British fighter defeated Trevor Bryan in the fourth round to take the ‘WBA world heavyweight title’ in a contest that belonged further down an undercard.
Don King, who paid over $3 million to host the event, must have lost a lot of money putting the event on. He couldn’t even fill half the venue.
Dubois, 24, was in charge right from the first bell and the previously unbeaten Bryan offered up little in return fire. The Londoner did not rush his work, and Bryan was first obviously rocked in the third by a flurry of heavy shots and a left hook in the fourth that floored Bryan and rendered him unable to continue.
But sadly for Daniel, who is a thoroughly nice person, his words in the aftermath meant nothing. The WBA, with their secondary title policy, has robbed Dubois of a real celebration.
“Now we can make some massive fights for the future,” said Dubois. “Bring them all on, now I am ready, and I will become a better fighter from this. In my mind, I was the favorite, no disrespect to anyone, but Trevor’s 0 had to go.”
On the upside, Dubois will now be one of the mandatory contenders for a shot at the winner of the forthcoming Oleksandr Usyk vs. Anthony Joshua rematch.
Once the WBA, IBF, and WBO decide who is next, Dubois or old foe Joe Joyce will get the call.
DANIEL DUBOIS NOT CHAMPION
Dubois discussed his win over an also-ran opponent with a deceptive record.
“In the first round, I was just trying to figure him out and see what he had. I said I was going to test the chin and just went for it.
“He brought out something in me. He brought out a wicked left hand! It was a punch-perfect ending, and I am just so happy. I had a few rough patches during this camp, but we pulled through and got the victory.
“I am just so happy to have got this world title. This win is what all the hard work was for. No disrespect to Trevor, but his 0 had to go, and I was just in there on a demolition mission.
“I am ready for whoever is next. I believe this will instantly make me a better fighter now. When you win the world title, they say you become next level, so names like Dillian Whyte and Joseph Parker are on my hit list. I will fight whoever Frank puts me in with next.
“It has been amazing. I dreamed of coming out here and winning a world title as a little kid, and now it has finally happened.”
Daniel is happy he got the world title. However, nobody will ever recognize it as such. For that, the WBA can take all the blame.
The views expressed in this article are the opinions of Phil Jay.
WBN Editor Phil has over ten years of boxing news experience. Follow WBN on Twitter @WorldBoxingNews.