It was clear from the sparring that defence was a big part of this preparation. Dunn admits that it is one area of his game he needs to focus on if he wants to compete with the big boys on the world stage.
"I watched my last fight and everything was good," he said. "I was winning the fight but I just wasn’t happy with where my hands were. This fight I just want to keep my hands up. I believe I’m just as good as the best in the world, but the difference is they keep their hands up even better and that’s going to make the difference."
Against Brophy, Dunn will be facing a boxer with good all-round skills but little pop. With just two knockouts in 18 victories, what Brophy lacks in power he makes up for in above average hand speed and a good kit of punches.
The 26-year-old from Caldercruix, who was contracted to play professional soccer for Dundee United as a junior, had only 30 amateur fights but still managed to win three Scottish titles, two British silvers and reach the quarter finals of the European Cadet Championships in Albania in 2006."What I have seen of him he’s got a good defence and when he throws his combinations he swings them up pretty good," said Dunn. "But I watched the George Groves fight and when he [Brophy] wasn’t ready he didn’t engage and that’s what won him [Groves] the fight."
Last November Dunn was extended the championship distance for just the second time in his professional career. Fighting for the vacant Commonwealth 168 pound title against durable Yorkshireman Liam Cameron, 19-4 (7) going in and never been stopped, Dunn landed heavy shots throughout the bout but quickly found a rhythm to ensure he had enough energy in reserve to get himself through to the final bell.
It was a big confidence boost.
“I’ll be honest with you, from about the second round till about the ninth I got into like a rhythm," said the 26 year-old. "You know when everything just like comes off second nature? Rounds two to round nine just felt like two seconds, I was enjoying it, you know. If I can win world titles feeling like that, I’m going to be happy.”
At heart, Dunn knows he is a knockout artist and that is what people pay to see. It is no surprise then that his favourite fight of his four outings in 2016 was his one-punch demolition of Rogerio Damasco in February. After patiently stalking Damasco for the opening minute of the round, Dunn backed him onto the ropes, slipped under a jab and threw a looping right cross that landed squarely on the Brazilian’s chin. Damasco slumped to the bottom rope, then sunk into the canvas.
"We replay that [knockout] in all the promos, that was pretty good," said Dunn. "I didn’t plan to knock him out that quick, I planned to throw a bit shot in the last minute of the round. But you know how adrenaline kicks in. About 40 seconds in I thought it was well into the round. I just timed it. The timing was perfect. I slipped outside his jab, bowled it over, it was just good timing. That was a good win."
Dunn will be hoping for a similarly explosive ending to open his account for 2017.