“Oh, so you daniel duboisFreddie, a coach at Repton Boxing Club, looked down to meet the gaze of the nine-year-old standing in front of him. “What is your name?”

Nerves lowered the answer to a whisper: “Caroline…”

“What? Say it again.”


luckily for Caroline DuboisIt didn’t take long for him to get rid of the Colin Dubois nickname, and – 13 years later – he’s now also ditching the ‘Daniel Dubois brother’ tag.

Caroline, now 22, is in the early stages of a professional career that she hopes will make her a world champion. Since making his professional debut almost exactly a year ago, the Briton has already won 6-0. Only his first opponent heard the sound of the last bell; all the rest had withered before then under the severe pressure exerted by Dubois.

And while her older brother is perhaps closer to her goal of world title in the heavyweight division, her sister is fast in pursuit of gold in the lightweight. Such a scenario was incomprehensible when the young Dubois first entered Repton Boxing Club in east London.

“When I first started, there weren’t any women’s boxing clubs or any clubs that really allowed girls,” Dubois says. Independent. “If they did, it was more to fit in, no sparring or anything like that. I joined my brother’s club and when I first went there my father told me they didn’t allow boys in. He was saying it jokingly so I couldn’t tell if he was serious but I realized that there were only boys there, no mothers. There was a serious atmosphere. So I thought, ‘Okay, maybe my dad is telling the truth. I had to go in there and pretend that my name is Colin, maybe a six-month-old boy.

Dubois with coach Shane McGuigan after leaving Milena Koleva in October

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“I was so young that I wasn’t thinking that deeply. I remember being the only girl in any of the clubs I went to for a long time. I started boxing at the age of nine and couldn’t even get a girl to fight until I was 13. It was very normal for me to play with men in the men’s club.”

But, as Dubois points out, boxing is undergoing “tremendous change,” with an increase in interest in the female side of the sport, and so much so that soon there may be no side left – just a sport. Katie Taylor, Amanda Serrano, Claressa Shields, Savannah Marshall, Alycia Baumgardner and Mikaela Mayer have been at the center of this seismic shift in recent years, and Dubois is now having an impact in the UK.

“I get it sometimes, when people like you say things like that,” Dubois says. “The transition from being a female fighter who trains in the gym to being someone who is considered a role model – someone young girls and boys look up to – is crazy for me. It happened overnight. Definitely now as I get older I realize how difficult it was in the beginning. But I’m grateful that you were so light-headed as a kid, because if I took it this seriously and people told me, ‘Girls shouldn’t box’, maybe I wouldn’t. You won’t be here today.

“As the years go by, there will be a big change. In fact, change is happening right now. Now if you go to any club in England, there are girls of all levels – teenage girls, adult women.”

Dubois made his professional debut against Vaida Masiokaite in February 2022.

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Dubois was once one of those young girls—actually the only girl he’d ever go into in clubs; Now she’s a grown woman looking to turn her heroes into competitors, as further proof of the growth of women’s boxing. Taylor, in particular, is the undisputed champion of Dubois’ division, a fighter exemplified by the 22-year-old; now Dubois wants to look at the Irish woman in the ring and under the lights.

“Most of the girls at the 2012 Olympics followed their careers religiously,” she says. “She gave me my first chance to be a role model. Katie Taylor and Natasha Jonas, I remember their fight at the 2012 Olympics; the one who sold me fought. Without him, I wouldn’t have any direction for where I want to go. Shields and the 2016 Olympics; Mayer, Baumgardner.

I am so grateful to have the girls I look up to, and I still respect them. The craziest part is that I definitely see myself getting in the ring with some of these girls. And I don’t just want to get in there and compete, I want to beat them.”

Dubois has reason to believe that his dream matches will actually happen. The last two years have shown that the best female fighters are willing to fight in the tightrope. Taylor – Serrano, Shields – Marshall and Baumgardner – Mayer stood out as some of the best matches of 2022.. By the way, the male colleagues of these stars often continue to miss the biggest competitions.

In October, Shields vs Marshall rolled out an all-female card with support from Mayer vs Baumgardner and Dubois.

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“I feel like we have a little more chips on our shoulders than guys,” Dubois says. “We’ve been struggling in small shows for a long time; If you listen to Serrano’s story, he was a multi-class world champion and was fighting for $5,000 – it’s a joke.

“I remember (American organizer) Bob Arum saying that a women’s fight would never sell. Shakur Stevenson and Oscar Valdez got into a fight with Taylor-Serrano the same night, and he said they should move the women to another night because they’ll never be able to make any money. It sold out, but then women couldn’t come and go to a sold-out arena; they needed a decent dusting to silence all the people who doubted them.

Fight fight, Dubois and his peers drown out the skeptics.

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