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Preview: Filip Hrgovic vs. Daniel Dubois

Filip Hrgovic and Daniel Dubois will battle for the IBF mandatory postion at the Kingdom Arena in Ryiadh, Saudi Arabia.


Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (May 25, 2024) - On June 1st, the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, will host a pivotal bout between IBF mandatory contender Filip Hrgovic and the rejuvenated Daniel Dubois. This fight will determine who holds the IBF mandatory position and sets up a potential future clash with undisputed champion Oleksandr Usyk.

Daniel Dubois and Filip Hrgovic have a breakout opportunity on June 1st in Saudi Arabia.

Filip Hrgovic (17-0, 14 KOs), the Croatian top contender, is set to face England’s Daniel Dubois (22-2, 19 KOs) in a bout that promises fireworks. Despite Hrgovic being considered a level above Dubois, recent performances have shown vulnerabilities. Hrgovic has experienced personal tragedies, including the loss of his father, which may have impacted his aggressive style. Nonetheless, the top echelons of the heavyweight division are unforgiving, and Hrgovic must demonstrate his readiness to dominate.

Dubois, on the other hand, showcased his resilience and power in his recent last-round stoppage of Jarrell Miller. Dubois appears prepared to walk through fire to secure victory, but questions remain about his head movement, ability to close the gap and rough up Hrgovic. His inside attack will probably get blunted by Hrgovic's reach, jab and overall skill set. If Hrgovic employs his jab effectively, Dubois may face significant difficulties.

Hrgovic has often appeared to be in control, even in challenging moments. During his bout with Zhilei Zhang, Hrgovic seemed to sleepwalk through moments where he appeared to be seriously hurt, maintaining a sense of being in control. Dubois must capitalize on these moments if and when they arise. Hrgovic's key to victory will be to keep Dubois at the end of his jab, break him down, and drop heavy right hands whenever the opportunity arises, which should be frequent.

The winner of this bout will be in prime position with the IBF. With the organization currently considering stripping newly minted undisputed champion Oleksandr Usyk of his title, the stakes are even higher. The IBF might even put a thin-paper title on the line or guarantee a shot at it for the winner. Furthermore, Anthony Joshua is reportedly slated to meet the victor in September in a massive card in London, continuing Saudi Arabia’s promotion of Riyadh Season.

What’s truly at stake is a place among the top five ranked heavyweights in the world, a lucrative payday against Joshua, and potentially a shot at the undisputed title. The fight will determine who moves forward in their career with a significant opportunity to make their mark at the top of the division. Both Hrgovic and Dubois have much to prove and everything to gain. Hrgovic should get the stoppage inside 10 rounds, but Dubois is a more-than-live dog in this one.

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