Hrgovic Fires Back at Dubois, Promises to Recreate Sparring Dominance

By Raj Parmar - 04/16/2024 - Comments

Filip Hrgovic plans to recreate their sparring sessions on June 1st in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for his fight against Daniel Dubois.

The 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Hrgovic (17-0, 14 KOs) and Dubois (20-2, 19 KOs) will meet in a 12-round contest on the 5v5 at the Kingdom Arena.

Hrgovic hopes the IBF title will be on the line if it’s stripped from the winner of the May 18th fight between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk contest.

He wants to fight for that belt, be it against Dubois, 26, or to jump in as a replacement to face IBF/WBA/WBO champion Usyk if Fury sustains another injury and can’t fight on May 18th.

IBF Title Aspirations and a Plan B

“I don’t know why he mentioned that sparring because that sparring was not so good for him. Why are you mentioning that sparring? You should be quiet about that,” said Filip Hrgovic to the iFL TV YouTube channel about Daniel Dubois.

The reason Dubois, 26, mentioned the sparring is obvious. He wanted to discuss it before Hrgovic brought it up, and he also likely chose to talk about it for revenge purposes.

Dubois was a young kid when he sparred Hrgovic, and nowhere near the fighter he is today. He’s grown, and is a completely different fighter than the one that sparred Hrgovic many years ago.

“He said he changed. Of course, he changed. He was young at the time of that sparring, but I was young as well,” said Hrgovic. “I think he definitely improved. You can improve, but you can never change your character or change your look,” said Hrgovic.

Of course, a person can change their character. No one stays the same person they were when they were younger. They mature, grow up, and evolve, learn from the past. Hrgovic has a simplistic view of people that fails to see how people grow, and learn from their past mistakes. There are some who don’t obviously, but most people do.

“You are who you are. Yeah, I’m confident that I repeat that sparring on June 1st,” said Hrgovic. “My understanding is I’m the [IBF] mandatory challenger. Fury and Usyk fight on May 18th. So after that fight, the winner should vacate the title, and me and Dubois should fight for the IBF belt.”

Hrgovic shouldn’t get his hopes up too much about the IBF belt being on the line for his fight with Dubois because the International Boxing Federation could choose to let the Fury-Usyk winner hold onto it for their rematch.

“So, that’s my understanding, but in boxing, you never know. We’ll see what happens after May 18th,” said Hrgovic. “Maybe May 18th doesn’t happen at all. Maybe something happens again, and I need to jump in and smash Usyk. You never know. They told me I should be ready to jump in if something happens.

Retirement on the Line

“Of course, how can I live with that?” said Hrgovic when asked if he’ll retire if he loses to Dubois. “I’m 18 years in this sport working like a maniac. If I lose to Dubois, obviously I’m not good as I think I am, so I am retiring,” said Hrgovic.

It’s difficult to take Hrgovic seriously about his retirement promise. If he loses to Dubois, it’ll be because he couldn’t handle his power, but there’s too much money that would still be available to him for him to retire.

YouTube video