Daniel Dubois had a brief moment of success against Oleksandr Usyk when challenging for the unified heavyweight world titles in Poland this August.
The Brit found himself as WBA Regular Champion after a win over Trevor Bryan, thus making him mandatory challenger for the man who dethroned Anthony Joshua.
Wroclaw, Poland was the stage, and the Ukrainian quickly established and held control in the bout until he was hurt in the fifth round. Unfortunately for Dubois and team, the shot that did it was immediately ruled low.
Usyk took all of four minutes to recover before regaining his momentum and scoring a ninth round stoppage.
The post-fight debate was dominated by the placement of Dubois’ shot, and his team, led by Frank Warren of Queensberry Promotions, lodged an appeal with the WBA with the hope of ordering a rematch.
The sanctioning body received the document and supporting evidence in early September. This week, it announced that the result would stand and there was nothing ‘clear or conclusive’ to show that referee Luis Pabon’s call was wrong.
With the supervisor’s opinion, the WBA decided to send the case to the International Officials Committee, who on September 11, issued their review and found that there was no clear and conclusive evidence that the original decision made by Pabon on Dubois’ punch to Usyk was wrong.
They also concluded that no TV clip had evidence that the decision was incorrect. In addition, they asserted that “the original decision of the low blow must stand, as there is no indispensable evidence to prove otherwise.”
On the other hand, the WBA rules determine that the decision of a low blow and whether a boxer who receives it can continue are strict competences of the referee and he is the only one authorised to make these decisions.
As a result, Dubois has not kept his Regular title or been reinstated as mandatory. In the latest rankings update, he finds himself out of the WBA’s top five down at number seven.
The 26-year-old is now behind new Regular Champion, Mahmoud Charr, Deontay Wilder, Martin Bakole, Anthony Joshua, Lenier Pero, Arslanbek Makhmudov and Jarrell Miller in that order.