Dubois out to strengthen Olympic bid at England Boxing National Youth Championships
February 25, 2019 | by Matt Halfpenny
Caroline Dubois is determined to use the upcoming England Boxing National Youth Championships to push her case for a place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics by underlining why she is regarded as the best Youth boxer in the world at her weight.
The Repton boxer, who turned 18 last month, swept all before her in 2018, winning the England Boxing National Youth Championships, the European Championships, the World Championships and the Youth Olympic Games.
It was the kind of form that led her to be chosen as the winner of Sports Aid’s Prestigious One-to-Watch Award in November.
But the focused teenager, who competes at 60kg, is not one for dwelling on her past achievements and has instead been training hard to ensure she takes further steps forward in 2019.
That begins with the defence of her national title, where she is set to figure at The Spiceball Leisure Centre Banbury over the weekend of 15th, 16th and 17th February.
“Last year was a tremendous year for me all round,” said Dubois. “I got to get to so many different tournaments and got a lot more bouts than I would do normally, which was great.
“When I went to the Europeans I got to see the level standard that was required to win at that level because it was pretty much as good as the Worlds, with all the main countries there.
“But I think the world title was the one I really wanted to win. You can’t beat that feeling of being the best in the world.
“I had the most bouts out of anyone on the team, with five in seven days and only two days off to rest, needing to constantly maintain my weight, but it was as much mentally draining as physically draining.
“The Youth Olympics was after that and it was really special to be part of a team of four boxers who all won medals and also the three who won gold were the only goal medal winners in the Great Britain team on that trip.
“That experience has given me a taste of what it would be like to compete at an Olympics, with the athlete village and everyone together from the same team, but in different sports.
“It’s definitely put Tokyo on my radar. I’ve watched senior bouts and I know I can be on that level, but I’ve got to keep working hard and winning this season and try to progress to the GB set-up. I have to win everything, really, to stand a chance of selection – and that starts with the Youth Nationals.”
Although Dubois has encountered plenty of success already, she is well aware that there is plenty of room for improvement as she matures as a boxer.
She is hoping to put into practice some of the things she has been working on since the end of last season when taking to the ring in Oxfordshire in two weeks’ time.
Dubois said: “I’ve been getting in lots of rounds and sparring with some of the England boys, which has proven really useful.
“There are just little things that I need to work on. In particular, I’m trying to get better at putting combinations together.
“The Youths are very important to me because I haven’t boxed competitively for a while and it will be a good opportunity to get rid of the rustiness.
“I certainly won’t be taking anything for granted because when you have won major championships, you are up there to be shot at with people wanting to beat you and put themselves in the limelight.”
The teenage Dubois considers herself ‘very lucky’ to have big brother and fellow boxer Daniel to look to for help and guidance when she needs it.
The 21-year-old heavyweight has nine professional bouts to his name having previously won the 91kg+ weight division in the 2015 England Boxing National Youth Championships.
“It’s really good to have someone like that who has gone before you and knows what it’s all about,” said the younger Dubois. “You can see all the work he has to put in a professional with constantly training, with no real off-season.
“You have to be on it 24/7 and I think I’ve taken something from that to make sure I am right in my training. He has the right attitude to follow. You have to keep pushing.
“I suppose there is a bit of family rivalry, but it’s all friendly! We all want to be the best, but we all want each other to do well too.”