Unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk (20-0, 13KOs) returns to defend his world titles against WBA mandatory challenger Daniel Dubois (19-1, 18KOs) on Saturday evening.

The pair come face-to-face at Poland’s Wroclaw Stadium live on TNT Sports Box Office.

Usyk a strong favourite heading into the bout

Usyk enters the bout an overwhelming favourite having previously overcame former champion Anthony Joshua in consecutive victories in 2021 and 2022.

The Ukrainian then set his sights on an undisputed showdown with WBC champion Tyson Fury in the first half of 2023 only for talks to collapse in March.

With the Fury fight seemingly out of the equation – at least for the time being – attention soon turned to WBA mandatory challenger Dubois.

The 25 year old cemented his mandatory status with a fourth-round knockout against an overmatched Trevor Bryan in June last year.

A world title shot seemed an inevitability for the former British champion before he was floored three times in the opening round against former cruiserweight Kevin Lerena in December.

Dubois regrouped however and, despite suffering an injury to his knee, went on to eventually stop the South African two rounds later.

Trainer Shane McGuigan has since made way for the experienced Don Charles as Dubois sets his sights on becoming heavyweight champion in his 21st professional contest.

Home advantage for Usyk

Although Usyk is unable to fight in his home country due to Ukraine’s ongoing war with Russia, Wroclaw is said to be home to over 250,000 Ukrainian people.

After almost eight years of fighting on the road, Usyk is revelling performing in front of his fellow countrymen and women once again.

“For me it’s important [to fight in front of Ukrainian fans]. I love Ukraine fans, not only Ukrainian fans, but it’s good. It’s great,” he said.

Dubois meanwhile no doubt enters the ring on Saturday not only a heavy underdog but as the man standing in the way of a happy homecoming for Usyk.

The challenger however remains confident of upsetting the odds against one of boxing’s pound-for-pound stars.

“It’s just tunnel vision. I’ve gotta keep tunnel vision and stay focused on the job.”

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