Dubois vs Hrgovic Predictions: Filip to snuff out ‘Dynamite’

 | Thursday 30th May 2024, 9:44am

Thursday 30th May 2024, 9:44am

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Filip Hrgovic takes on Daniel Dubois on Saturday, June 1 as part of the Queensberry vs Matchroom 5v5 show. The bout will take place at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with DAZN PPV televising.

Here are my Hrgovic vs Dubois predictions ahead of a blockbuster heavyweight bout.

Dubois vs Hrgovic Tips

  • Hrgovic on points @ 18/5
  • Fight to go the distance? Yes @ 5/2

At one stage, this fight looked set to have the vacant IBF heavyweight championship at stake. The sanctioning body had intended to strip the winner of Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk of their portion of the undisputed championship. Common sense has prevailed, at least temporarily, as Usyk and his team have requested to be allowed a voluntary defence against Fury in the rematch.

That means that Hrgovic and Dubois are most likely duking it out for the right to face Fury or Usyk down the line. Either that or they’ll be first in line to fight for the discarded IBF belt if the undisputed ruler decides to go in another direction. But either way, the winner of this battle will have a prestigious war ahead.

Taking the title implications out of it, this is a fine piece of heavyweight matchmaking on its own merits. Hrgovic is 17-0 with 14 knockouts, but his controversial win over Zhilei Zhang is the only result that truly stands out. Dubois carries a less-weighty 20-2 ledger with an impressive 19 knockouts. He has lost to Joe Joyce and Oleksandr Uysk, two fights in which he learned a lot. ‘Dynamite’ is coming off an impressive TKO win over Jarrell Miller last time out.

Both men were fine amateurs tipped for professional stardom. Hrgovic saw it through, winning bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Dubois had intended to compete at Tokyo 2020, but instead opted to turn pro in 2017. These two contrasting paths have put these men on a collision course in Riyadh.

One could argue that these fighters are two sides of the same coin. Each initially led a charmed life. That is normal for amateur standouts who turn pro. Feed them a diet of men intended to lay down. Then gently increase the pressure, pit them against boxers designed to extend but not conquer them. Finally, you let them loose on a genuine contender and hope everything they’ve learned comes to fruition. 

Neither of these men excelled at the last part of this time-honoured process. Hrgovic huffed and puffed his way to a decision over Zhang. A war played out in slow motion, it was entertaining but both men looked as likely to collapse from exhaustion as they did from the punches landed. 

Dubois hung in there against Joyce until a brutal broken orbital bone took him out of the running. Some questioned his heart when he withdrew with the gruesome injury, but I think ‘Dynamite’ did the right thing. If he had tried to continue, we might not be talking about Dubois’ career as a going concern four years later.

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Dubois has gone 5-1 since that setback, picking up the WBA ‘regular’ title in the process and logging knockout wins over the likes of Trevor Bryan, Bogdan Dinu and Kevin Lerena. The one loss came at the hands of now-undisputed king Usyk. A borderline low blow/body punch had the Ukrainian on the canvas struggling for breath in that one. 

The boxing fraternity was divided on the legality of the punch, which the referee judged as low, giving Usyk time to recover. For my money, it was a low shot. But Dubois gave Usyk a better fight than most thought he would before losing in the ninth round. A fine learning experience for a fighter who is still only 26.

There is so much on the line here. Hrgovic fights to hold on to the IBF mandatory shot he has held in his back pocket for almost two years now. The Croatian star has found himself passed over for commercial concerns time and time again. Usyk-Fury was always going to take precedence and the same is true of the rematch. But now Hrgovic runs the risk of losing the title shot he rightfully won against Zhang in August 2022.

Dubois has a lot on the line too. He has enjoyed a fine career, but you only get so many chances to be elite. A third defeat could see him downgraded from resurgent contender to big name gatekeeper. A Derek Chisora-like existence of adding shine to fights featuring heavily-favoured opponents, punctuated by further losses. It is a noble but thankless path and it certainly doesn’t lead to world titles.

Stylistically, this fight could be a test of how far Dubois has come since Joyce. Like ‘Juggernaut’, Hrgovic fights in a very straight-up style, coming forward behind a jab without offering much head movement. They used to call this “European style” in recognition of the likes of the Klitschko brothers riding this sort of rigid orthodoxy to world title glory. 

Dubois can be a little stiff and his chin is questionable. Former cruiserweight Kevin Lerena had him on the deck three times in their bout before ‘Dynamite’ rebounded to stop him. But he does pack some serious power and is probably the quicker of the two. He is certainly the more mobile.

However, Hrgovic is incredibly adept at maintaining distance. Couple this with an excellent sense of timing and I feel he will have too much for Dubois. I can see a lot of leather being landed in an entertaining scrap here. But I feel Hrgovic is the better-schooled technician of the two and that the fight will be decided in the classroom, not on the battlefield. I’m backing Hrgovic to eke out a decision win at 18/5.

You can find all our latest boxing tips and analysis at our Betfred Insights Boxing page

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