Daniel Dubois dropped Oleksandr Usyk in round five of their unified heavyweight title fight, but the shot was immediately ruled as low by the referee.
The Ukrainian champion would go onto reassume his role as aggressor in the fight, knocking Dubois down in both rounds eight and nine to win by stoppage and retain his belts.
Talk of the low blow has now dominated the post-fight talk, and promoter Frank Warren has made his next moves very clear.
“We will be lobbying the WBA to declare this as a no contest. The knockdown – which the referee said was below the belt – that wasn’t a low blow, it hit him on the shorts.
But the criteria as is explained at the rules meeting, the waist is the midpoint to your hips, so it’s much lower. So that was a legitimate blow and it should’ve been stopped. He got three minutes and 46 seconds recovery time. The referee got it wrong.”
Warren said that body shots were the game plan all along.
Dubois’ trainer, Don Charles, labelled Usyk a cheat after saying he was aware of the potential of a tactic to wear his protector high up his waist – something he says he spoke to the referee about pre-fight.
“When the referee came into our room prior to the fight … I said ‘make sure that Usyk’s ground guard is in the right place, because I know he wears it high. Number two, he always makes out that his opponent has hit him low. He does it in most of his fights. It’s a trick of his and it should be stamped out.
“What can he say? He knows he’s conned the young man out of it. ‘This is boxing Daniel.’ We know it’s boxing mate, we don’t like when people cheat. That is cheating. There is no two ways about it.”
What will come of Warren’s lobbying is unclear. As of now, Usyk – who is adamant the shot was illegal – remains champion with 21 victories and is set to be ordered to face his next mandatory challenger, Filip Hrgovic.