Ahead of this weekend’s clash between heavyweight prospects Daniel Dubois and Nathan Gorman, here are five examples when young stars put it all on the line against each other and how their careers fared in the aftermath.
Many assume putting prospects in with each other early in their careers will hinder their growth, but this list shows that they can make for brilliant fights and also see both men enjoy success later on in their careers.
Dubois (11-0), has racked up 10 knockouts in his 11 contests so far, with the only points win coming against American journeyman Kevin Johnson. His most recent wins against Richard Lartey and former world title challenger Razvan Cojanu has seen him become favourite for this fight.
However, Gorman also holds wins over Johnson and Cojanu, perhaps in less convincing circumstance, and will certainly fancy his chances on July 13th at the O2 Arena in London.
James DeGale vs George Groves
Back in 2011, the longtime London rivals squared off for the first time in the professional ranks for the British and Commonwealth Super-Middleweight Titles.
DeGale (10-0) went into the fight as a strong favourite but it was Groves (12-0) who ended the night as champion after a majority decision win.
Since that night, both men enjoyed reigns as world champion, with Groves finally winning in his fourth attempt against Fedor Chudinov, where as DeGale was IBF champ from 2014 until 2017, where he eventually lost to Caleb Truax, both men are now retired.
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jr
The ExCel Arena in London played host to another mouth watering clash when former Olympian Billy Joe Saunders (20-0) put his European, British and Commonwealth middleweight titles on the line against the son of a legend Chris Eubank Jr (18-0).
Saunders was expected to make light work of Eubank Jr and is certainly looked to be going that way in the early stages until Eubank began to pick up the pace in the later rounds, however it was too late for Eubank as Saunders took a Split Decision win.
Just two fights later, Saunders took on Andy Lee for his WBO Middleweight Title and won another close decision before defending the belt three times. He has since moved up a weight to claim to WBO Super Middlewight Title.
Eubank on the other hand, racked a number of good wins before suffering defeat in his only world title fight against George Groves. However, he does hold the minor IBO Belt and has done since 2017.
Anthony Joshua vs Dillian Whyte
Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte finally met in the ring after months of build-up on December 12th 2015 with the vacant British Heavyweight Title on the line.
Whyte (16-0) was billed as being Olympian Joshua’s (14-0) first real test as a professional and he should that when he rocked Joshua onto his heels early in the second round. Unfortunately for Whyte, he was unable to finish the job and Joshua recovered to cruise to a 7th round stoppage.
Despite claiming afterwards that a world title fight was still far away, Joshua’s next fight saw him challenge Charles Martin for his IBF World Title which he won inside three rounds. His subsequent run saw him beat the likes of Wladimir Klitschko and Joseph Parker on route to becoming a three belt world champion and global superstar. However, ‘AJ’ suffered a shock defeat to Andy Ruiz back in June and is currently preparing for the rematch which is likely to take place in November.
Whyte has also enjoyed success since the contest, beating former world champions Joseph Parker and Lucas Browne. Whyte takes on Oscar Rivas on July 20th in what is likely to be a final eliminator for Deontay Wilder’s WBC Title.
Kid Galahad vs Jazza Dickens
The most low-key affair on the list, Kid Galahad (14-0) and James ‘Jazza’ Dickens (16-0) locked horns for the vacant British Super Bantamweight Title at the Magna Centre in Rotherham in 2014.
In what was a very back-and-forth affair, Galahad was deducted a point in the 9th round for pushing down in his opponent, but this only seemed to spur him on as he came out flying in the 10th round and floored Dickens with a left hook which referee Mark Green deemed enough to stop the contest.
Since the contest, Galahad served a 2 year doping ban between 2014 and 2016. However, Galahad remained unbeaten and recently took on Josh Warrington for his IBF Featherweight Title, coming up short in a fight many people thought he won.
Dickens went on to win the British title but suffered defeat in his only world title challenge against former pound-for-pound star Guillermo Rigondeaux. Dickens returns to the ring this Friday as he takes on Nathaniel May at the Olympia in Liverpool.
Anthony Fowler vs Scott Fitzgerald
The most recent of the examples, Liverpudlian Anthony Fowler (9-0) took on Preston’s Scott Fitzgerald (12-0) at the Echo Arena back in March. Both men enjoyed success in the amateurs, with them both winning Commonwealth Games Gold Medals in 2014, but Fowler still went into the contest a big favourite in front of his home crowd.
Fowler started the better of the two, winning the early rounds but a late comeback from Fitzgerald including a dramatic last round knockdown saw him sneak home with a split decision win.
Both men are yet to return to the ring, but Anthony Fowler is set to take on another Lancastrian in Brian Rose in August, with Scott Fitzgerald expected to challenge Ted Cheeseman for his British Super Welterweight Title later in the year.