Joe Joyce has weighed in on the debate surrounding the ruled low blow on Oleksandr Usyk during his world heavyweight title fight with Daniel Dubois.
The Ukrainian – who entered and exited the ring with the WBA, WBO and IBF belts – controlled the vast majority of the fight bar one moment in the fifth round.
Dubois, 25, went to the body and dropped the champion, but it was immediately ruled low by referee Luis Pabon. Usyk was given three minutes to recover. When he did, he got back in the driving seat and finished it in the ninth round.
Speaking with Seconds Out, Joyce – who fought and beat Daniel Dubois back in 2020 – was certain Usyk ‘milked it’ when hit, but couldn’t land on legal or illegal for the blow itself.
“Dubois hit him with arguably a good shot. Was it high, was it low? I don’t know. I think it was like kind of belt line, but Usyk played up to it and the referee… It was in Poland. I don’t know … I think he was milking it a bit.”
He then gave props to the champion on an otherwise ‘dominant’ performance.
“Apart from that shot, the rest of the fight was a dominant display by Usyk.”
Dubois’ team, led by promoter Frank Warren, has lodged an appeal with the WBA. They believe its supporting video and photographic evidence will warrant the sanctioning body to call for a rematch.
Usyk’s side believe there is ‘zero chance’ of that outcome. They plan to move ahead with their goal of being undisputed. To make that happen, a fight with WBC Champion, Tyson Fury, must be made.
Frustratingly, Fury is out in October against MMA fighter, Francis Ngannou, meaning Usyk will likely be forced to facing his next mandatory in line, Filip Hrgovic.