Daniel Dubois had Oleksandr Usyk down in the fifth round of their title fight, but the shot was ruled low and he says he ‘lost momentum’ and felt ‘disheartened’ thereafter.
It’s an attitude promoter Eddie Hearn believes is a bad sign for a potential future world champion.
The low blow debate rages on, but what is clear is that Usyk regained control quickly in the contest and dropped Dubois twice to win by stoppage in the ninth.
Dubois seemed more tired than hurt after the stiff right hand that put him down, and watched the referee count to nine before standing. He did not protest when the fight was waved off.
Speaking via the Matchroom YouTube channel, rival promoter Hearn said that the 25-year-old must show more resilience.
“Probably an unpopular opinion – Daniel Dubois has to show more resilience when things get on top. Because the first knockdown nothing much landed clean, and he tried not to bead the count in my opinion.
And the second knockdown he definitely tried not to make the count. Granted it was a stiff jab, but you’ve got to get up.”
For his part, Dubois claims to have mistimed the count, standing when his corner told him to and being completely able to carry on.
Looking back on round five, Hearn said that even despite the legality of the low blow not being in ruled in his favour, Dubois missed an opportunity to attack in the rest of the round.
The promoter believes mentality changes can see the Brit doing big things in future.
“When Usyk got up after what three minutes on the floor, he had two and half minutes in that round to stick it on him. Usyk’s an exceptional fighter and I felt like he would break Daniel mentally in the fight, and really that’s what happened, it wasn’t that he beat him up.
When Daniel said ‘I just lost momentum’ – that’s a bad sign. But what I will tell you is Daniel Dubois is 25, I think he’s got a fantastic future if he can be stronger mentally. You’ve got to get up. Especially in that situation.”
Team Dubois plan to contest the result of the fight, looking for at most a no contest to be called, at least a rematch. With all things considered, it’s unlikely the WBA grants either.