Oleksandr Usyk retained his WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles against Daniel Dubois with a ninth round stoppage, but the fight wasn’t without controversy.
Usyk controlled the majority of proceedings, with his speed and footwork causing Dubois issues from the outset and the Brit never managed to establish his jab or any rhythm in the contest.
However, in the fifth round Dubois landed a looping right hand to the body which sent the Ukrainian to the canvas, with replays showing the punch landing on the belt line. The referee immediately called it a low blow. Usyk really struggled to get his breath back and was allowed over three minutes to recover.
Dubois knocks out Usyk with a body shot to the bladder but gets called as a low blow… pic.twitter.com/JaIrZ2xC33
— Muliani (@MulianiEnt) August 26, 2023
It was undoubtedly the pivotal moment of the fight and one that seems to have split the boxing world, with some claiming it was clearly an illegal shot with others saying ‘DDD’ should now be the new heavyweight champion.
Dubois’ promoter Frank Warren said the referee made the wrong decision and called it a robbery – they will now be petitioning the WBA to declare the fight a no contest or order an immediate rematch.
Former Usyk foe, Tony Bellew, made his feelings clear on the matter – declaring the punch a clear low blow.
“Anything below the naval is classed as low in boxing! That’s not my opinion that’s a FACT! That’s the rules! Your shorts shouldn’t cover your naval cos if they do the belt can be hit! This picture says a thousand words! Spew it once and you’ll spew it again is also another fact!”
Anything below the naval is classed as low in boxing! That’s not my opinion that’s a FACT! That’s the rules! Your shorts shouldn’t cover your naval cos if they do the belt can be hit! This picture says a thousand words! Spew it once and you’ll spew it again is also another fact! pic.twitter.com/JDdfJxdGrE
— Tony Bellew (@TonyBellew) August 26, 2023
If no action is taken Usyk will now either have to face his next mandatory, IBF number 1 ranked contender, Filip Hrgovic, or try once again to make an undisputed fight with Tyson Fury.