Caroline Dubois: British fighter thanks Claressa Shields for her ‘amazing’ advice

Caroline Dubois

Caroline Dubois launches her professional boxing career on November 20th on the undercard of Richard Riakporhe’s world cruiserweight title eliminator.

The event will be live on Sky Sports and is in association with BOXXER, who have put together another card stacked with rising British talent.

Dubois, who is still just 20 years of age, has made the transition from amateur level after reaching the quarter-finals of the women’s lightweight division at the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

Regarded by many as one of the hottest prospects in women’s boxing, a number of trainers were queuing up to coach Dubois, but it was the renowned Shane McGuigan who eventually landed the rising British star.

Speaking to GiveMeSport Women, Dubois explained how this partnership came to fruition and what separates McGuigan from other coaches.

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“I suppose it’s a good thing I met with him before the Olympics because straight away I went to him,” she admitted. “I did train with a few others before him, but sometimes you just get people that make you feel good and immediately with Shane I felt that connection.

“He was teaching me so many things I’ve never been told before. He’s been showing me how to roll with the punches and nobody’s ever taught me that. I feel like that’s what I need now. For someone to teach me and help me grow and learn new things.”

Often, the step up from amateur to professional proves to be challenging for some fighters, especially with the need to adapt to different gloves and longer contests. Asked if she’d found it difficult to adapt to the pro game, Dubois stressed that training so far has been far more extreme.

“I would definitely say it’s been more intense. The sparring rounds have been ridiculously long,” she joked.

“But it’s all fun and games because this is what I love to do. There’s that saying, ‘if you enjoy what you do, you never work a day in your life.’”

Caroline Dubois

With 37 wins from 40 amateur fights, Dubois’ reputation has brought with it pressure to succeed at the top level. The 20-year-old relishes this outside noise, however, and is determined to make amends for failing to claim a medal at the Olympics.

“Pressure’s part of the privilege we get as fighters. If there was no pressure that means there’s no excitement. So I’m definitely feeling the pressure.

“I want to impress. I feel like I messed up at the Olympics and let people down and I need to make up for that. I want to make up for that and make a statement.”

While most boxers take each fight as it comes, Dubois revealed she always imagines herself fighting for world titles and emphasised that these dreams help keep her motivated.

“Every time I’m running, every time I’m training, I’m imagining myself in the ring, fighting for a world title.

“I’m imagining myself putting on an amazing performance and the crowd going crazy. So in my head, that’s what I’m thinking about and that’s what I’m aiming for.”

Caroline Dubois

One of Dubois’ most vocal supporters is her older brother Daniel –– also a professional boxer, who will fight on the Jake Paul vs Tommy Fury undercard. Daniel has long been a vocal advocate of his sister and is proud that she’s finally getting the chance to show the world her talent.

“It’s great. I love it,” he said. “She’s worked hard for this and she deserves every bit of her success. She’s stuck with it when it’s got tough, she hasn’t strayed from the path, and she’s stayed strong.

“I think it’s now time for the next part of her career, it’s time for her to conquer women’s boxing, and make a legacy for herself.”

And Daniel is not the only high-profile fighter to be a fan of Dubois. Undisputed female light middleweight champion, Claressa Shields, reached out to the 20-year-old at the Olympics and offered her own words of encouragement.

Dubois revealed that Shields was one of her idols growing up and that she could see a lot of similarities between herself and the American fighter.

“Claressa Shields has been the main one. She’s someone I’ve watched a lot growing up. When I was training as a youngster I felt like there was nobody else like me, but when I saw Claressa Shields and people just had to stop and watch her, I can relate to that so much.

“When she reached out to me at the Olympics it was amazing because she’s been there, done that and it’s what I needed.”

Claressa Shields

Though it is confirmed Dubois will fight on November 20th, her opponent and indeed the weight class she will compete in, are still unknown.

If she is to fight at lightweight, as she did in the Olympics, then the Brit faces plenty of competition. Regarding her dream opponent, the Brit recognises the number of talented fighters out there at the moment and said she’d feel privileged to fight any of them.

“Women’s boxing at the moment is so stacked. You’ve got the Katie Taylor’s, the Amanda Serrano’s, there are so many fighters and I’ll be happy to share the ring with all of them.”

Dubois’ fight will air live and exclusively on Sky Sports, with tickets available to purchase via boxxer.com/tickets.

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