Caroline Dubois ready to shine against ‘awkward’ Magail Rodriguez

Caroline Dubois says she is ready to shine against Magali Rodriguez in what is her “biggest challenge” yet as she aims to secure the IBO lightweight title during her meteoric rise to the top of women’s boxing.

Dubois vs Rodriguez will headline a card with Viddal Riley vs Nathan Quarless and Callum Simpson vs Jose De Jesus Macias in an action-packed evening at York Hall, live on Sky Sports on Saturday 30 September.

“I shine under those lights,” Dubois said on Sky Sports’ Ringside Toe2Toe podcast about the prospect of headlining for the first time in her career.

“I feel like there are certain boxers where you can tell when we step in the ring and how we conduct ourselves. They like the pressure, they like the hustle and bustle when they grow up.

“I think me and a lot of world champions have that charisma, that ability to perform when under pressure – I have that.

“Actions speak louder than words, and that’s why I’m looking forward to showing that on September 30.”

The 22-year-old Brit won her first professional fight in February 2022 before stopping her next five opponents and scoring a points victory in her last fight against Yanina del Carmen Lescano in June.

Use the Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Caroline Dubois knocked down Yanina del Carmen Lescano with painful punches en route to a big points victory

On Saturday she will face Mexico’s Rodriguez, the former WBA world title challenger and current WBC title holder.

The veteran has nine knockouts among her 22 wins to date, and Dubois expects a “tough” fight against the 31-year-old.

“This is definitely my biggest challenge on paper, and that’s why I’m excited about it.

“I’ve seen her a little bit against Estelle (Mossely) and against other opponents; she’s someone who is very clumsy.

“That kind of attitude, that awkwardness – it’s like, how do you do this? How do you throw a punch from the floor?

“She’s holding her hands in awkward positions and leaning back, and it’s very negative, very uncomfortable.

“I think it’s going to be a challenge for me to deal with that style and how I deal with it, and I’m curious to see what happens.”

Dubois and Rodriguez will face off for the IBO lightweight championship, but she has her sights set on the elite of women’s boxing, having already named Katie Taylor and Mikaela Mayer as targets.

Use the Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Caroline Dubois says she wasn’t impressed with Mikaela Mayer when she met her as an amateur in sparring

“It’s crazy to think I’m talking about fighting for the IBO world title,” said the 22-year-old, who is entering her eighth professional fight.

“It’s crazy to think I’m already on this journey, but I have to put it in perspective: women’s boxing is a little different, we move in a different way.

“I look at Katie Taylor’s record and she was fighting for a world title in her seventh fight, Sandy Ryan is going for all the titles and she has ten fights under her belt.

“So I just look at myself, and if I compare myself to these girls, I’m on the right track.

“It’s going to be a great night for me, and another great night for boxing.

“After this one – God willing, I hope everything goes according to plan – I want to take a bigger step and challenge the best.”

Jones: This is a fight ‘for the next generation’

Caroline Dubois (PA Images)
Caroline Dubois (PA Images)

Former WBO featherweight champion and Sky Sports pundit Barry Jones believes Saturday’s main fight is “for the next generation”.

“For the sport to grow as it has done at such a rapid pace, you have to fight big battles so that other young girls and women will follow the sport.

“You don’t know where you’re going to get your next star or future boxers from – you tend to think that younger kids see that and say that’s what they want to be.

Use the Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Caroline Dubois says a statement win against Yanina Lescano will help her progress and get the big fights as she focuses on a clash with Mikaela Mayer

“And that’s what you want (as a fighter): someone to fall in love with you.

“Look at Katie Taylor – how inspiring she has been – Savannah Marshall, Claressa Shields in the United States, Mikaela Mayers – all these boxers have been inspirations.

“And it’s important that we get these big fights to grow the sport because at some point in women’s boxing you’re not going to be able to win the world title in six fights.”

Jones admits he was previously ‘worried’ about Dubois making big steps in her career quickly, but now believes the Brit is ‘strong enough’ to face Rodriguez.

“I was always worried because Dubois turned pro so young — I turned pro young, and you want to pass the test, but you don’t want to go too far,” Jones said.

“In women’s boxing you don’t have the luxury that we have in men’s boxing: you can hover around a certain level.

Use the Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Mikaela Mayer praises ‘strong and talented’ Caroline Dubois and says it’s cool to see two generations crossing in women’s boxing

“You don’t have that (in women’s boxing), you have to fight, fight and then it’s the big fight.

“It was a concern, but now I don’t have those concerns anymore. Dubois is physically strong enough and mature enough, even though she is only 22.

“And this is a good test. This is a woman who has boxed at a good level and has real experience, who on paper will cause a few problems.”

Watch Caroline Dubois and Magali Rodriguez headline a big night of boxing live on Sky Sports on Saturday 30 September.