But the 24-year-old is confident of coming through his first real test since Joyce in the form of an undefeated Trevor Bryan on Saturday, in what will be only the Greenwich fighter’s second bout on American soil.
Dubois has long been talked up as the next big thing in the heavyweight division by Frank Warren, even amid the Joyce hiccup, and the promoter remains confident that he can be huge on both sides of the Atlantic.
Dubois himself is confident of returning to his home city after the weekend with Bryan’s WBA ‘regular’ heavyweight belt in tow.
“I am ready to rumble,” said Dubois. “I am out here to make myself, my family and my country proud. This is what I’ve been waiting for and I can’t wait. I am going to go through Trevor and take that belt back with me on the plane.”
Dubois suffered a broken eye socket during his 10th-round knockout by Joyce and some questioned whether he had the bottle to return to the ring and make a name for himself.
But after a lengthy rehabilitation, he bounced back with convincing wins against both Bodgan Dinu and Joe Cusumano. In two relative mismatches, Dinu was knocked out early in the second round in June last year before Dubois ended the threat of Cusumano with another knockout which took a mere 130 seconds.
But Bryan, with an unblemished fight record of 22 bouts without a loss, is a step up in class from that duo and the American warned he would pose an obdurate threat despite being the less fancied of the pair in the bookmakers’ eyes for their weekend fight in Miami.
“This is Trevor Bryan, the undefeated WBA heavyweight champion,” he said. “This fight is called the fight for freedom and peace but, before you have freedom and peace, you’ve got to have war, and war’s what you’re going to have.
“It’s going to be a war. I’m Trevor Bryan, The Dream, and I’m going to be this guy’s nightmare.”
As for Dubois, he already has more ambitious targets beyond Bryan, calling his ring return, “the stepping stone to the bigger belts”.