Daniel Dubois may have a secret weapon — Oleksandr Usyk's former trainer

Daniel Dubois has recruited Oleksandr Usyk’s former trainer James Ali Bashir to, alongside head coach Don Charles, assist with his preparations for Saturday’s fight with the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion.

Bashir guided Usyk, 36, from his second professional fight – the stoppage of Epifanio Mendoza in December 2013 – to winning the WBO cruiserweight title with victory over Krzysztof Glowacki and then making his first title defence against Thabiso Mchunu in December 2016 before he was replaced with Anatoly Lomachenko.

“We [essentially] lived together for three years so I’ve vast knowledge [of Usyk],” Bashir, 72, told ProBox TV. “I understand the workings of Oleksandr Usyk. 

“One thing about it, even after he let me go, his nature’s not going to change … Sure, he’s going to do some things differently, but under stress, and under aggression and punching power, each individual’s going to do what they do best to protect themselves. Once he gets hit, once he gets under stress, he’s going to go back to doing what he does best. His nature’s not going to change.”