Courageous Dubois shuts up the doubters with stoppage victory over Miller

Daniel Dubois scored the biggest win of his career when under the most amount of pressure.

Having been told his fight with Jarrell Miller was ‘make or break’, Dubois scored an exciting 10th round stoppage win, grinding Miller to a halt with just four seconds left after a hard-fought tussle.

Dubois had plenty at stake, having lost in his biggest fights to date, to Joe Joyce and Oleksandr Usyk, but he came through against controversial Miller in real style, having shown courage in the face of adversity through some rough middle rounds.

“I’m glad I came through it,” Dubois said. “I showed my heart. I’m a prideful fighter and I always want to come forwards. I’m learning new things every day.”

He admitted he had to dig deep, and added: “I’m glad I did it. I had to prove it to myself. I had to show to myself I was a real fighter. I showed all the doubters tonight. I want to fight the best. I want to fight all the best fighters.”

The action in the first round was lively. Dubois was pushing the pace and trying to be a match for Miller, who was almost 100lbs heavier, in the clinches and in close.

It was a positive start from Dubois, as Miller, hands high, followed and tracked him around the ring.

In Dubois’s corner in between rounds, trainer Don Charles urged Dubois to use his footwork and not try to be too physical on the inside with a man who had such a significant weight advantage.

The pace was slower in the second. “Big Baby” plodded forwards but was not doing much. Dubois landed a couple of rights round the corner of Miller’s gloves, scored with some thudding jabs and made Miller miss with some heavy hooks until he connected with a couple of right hands just before the bell.

They planted their feet and threw heavy blows to open the third. Neither were prepared to break, but Miller was getting caught more frequently and he bled from the mouth. Miller also soaked in some bodyshots for good measure.

Dubois stepped in with a hard jab in the fourth, but Miller was consistent. He trudged forwards and landed a big left right to hurt Dubois, who was then caught again as Miller seemed to take control as Dubois slowed and then started retreating. It was a big round for Miller.

Dubois, however, flew out of the blocks in the fifth and tried to assert himself, but within 80 seconds Dubois was beggining to slow again and Miller kept coming. The American’s jab was working better, too. It was looking ominous for Dubois, because Miller seemed to be able to absorb everything almost without blinking.

The Englishman was coming up short on the inside, too open and defensively naïve when they were in close.

New Yorker Miller, now 26-1-1 (22 KOs) was in the ascendancy going into the sixth. Again, Dubois opened well and again his shots bounced off Miller, but Dubois used the basics succinctly enough to earn the round, boxing and moving and allowing his jab to dictate terms.

It was a hard fight and both were fatiguing.

Dubois was on his toes and jabbing and boxing well in the seventh. Miller stopped him in his tracks with a right hand, but only momentarily. Both were taking on damage but the cleaner work was being done with Dubois using his fundamentals, not letting Miller to close the gap.

Miller appeared forlorn if not exhausted before the eighth. At more than 330lbs, he wasn’t built for a 10-rounder at a decent pace, even though he was still very much in it.

It looked like the sting had been taken out of Miller. He was now slowing. His hands were dropping and his output was diminishing. Conversely, Dubois appeared emboldened. The Londoner was warned by referee Michael Alexander for straying low with his shots, but Miller was an increasingly static target and he was hammered by a big right just before the bell.

With two rounds to go, momentum was back with Dubois.

A left-right-left hook from Dubois seemed to hurt Miller at the beginning of the ninth. When Dubois stuck to the basics, using speed, reach and footwork, there was only one man in it. Miller still took shot after shot, he was being outboxed, and he guzzled a straight right again with 10 seconds remaining in the ninth.

Miller had three minutes to turn it around. Dubois needed to see the round out. Miller was desperately hoping wide hooks would get the job done – ideally with one shot – but Dubois was boxing as well as he ever has, peppering Miller with hooks, uppercuts, bodyshots and bossing the final three minutes. Miller played to the crowd and showboated a couple of times but he wasn’t fooling anyone. Dubois, instead, accept the invitation to pour forwards and he landed a volley of punches that forced the intervention of referee Alexander.

Miller tried to argue he was okay, but Dubois had firmly put the exclamation point on the biggest win and best performance of his career. Dubois is now 20-2 (19 KOs) and still only 26 and he had earned Miller’s respect.

“Daniel D is no quitter,” said Miller. “I’ve been inactive, I took this fight on four weeks’ notice. DDD has my respect. I’ll be back, baby.”

Dubois was unsuccessful against Oleksandr Usyk in August, stopped in nine rounds when challenging for the unified heavyweight title, and two-time drug cheat Miller was boxing for the second time, telling this year he has been welcomed in Dubai and now Saudi Arabia. Now he has lost for the first time as a professional and Dubois is on the cusp of another big fight.