Oleksandr Usyk has made an incredible mark on the heavyweight division in just five fights. Four of those wins have come against British fighters, from Derek Chisora to Anthony Joshua twice and then, most recently, Daniel Dubois.
The Ukrainian beat Joshua for his unified heavyweight titles back in 2021 via unanimous points victory, repeating the feat one year on to retain the belts with ‘AJ’ managing to get the nod on one judge’s score for a split decision.
After talks with Tyson Fury for an undisputed bout were put on ice, Usyk set about facing his first mandatory challenger, Dubois.
Many in the sport once viewed the 26-year-old as the heir to the British heavyweight throne, but if that means echoing Joshua’s achievements in the pro ranks, Usyk can’t see it happening.
In an interview with Boxing News, he said he believes that Dubois will not reach the same level.
“There is no way to compare [Dubois and Joshua], because they are completely different fighters. Different skills; different styles. Totally different boxers. To be fair, I don’t think [Dubois can reach Joshua’s level]. I am sorry for saying this, but this is the truth and I’m telling it.”
Dubois entered the ring against Usyk a big underdog, and a large majority of the action proved that to be correct, save for a moment in the fifth round when the champion hit the canvas.
The shot was immediately ruled a low blow by referee Luis Pabon and, once recovered, Usyk took back control for a ninth round stoppage.
Dubois’ promoter lodged an appeal with the WBA as to the illegal shot decision, but the official ruling stood. The Brit finds himself in build-back mode, now with the added motivation of a doubter in the form of Usyk.