The WBA has reached a verdict as to an appeal made by Frank Warren and Queensberry Promotions on behalf of Daniel Dubois.
The Brit travelled to Poland to challenge for Oleksandr Usyk’s unified heavyweight titles in August, and looked to have brief success against the run of play in the fifth round.
Unfortunately for Dubois, the shot that hurt Usyk was immediately deemed a low blow. The Ukrainian was given close to four minutes to recover, and quickly regained control of the bout when it resumed. He would stop Dubois in the ninth round.
That low blow has dominated the post-fight debate, and Warren lodged an official appeal with the WBA – Dubois was its mandatory challenger – to overturn the result or call a rematch.
The sanctioning body released a statement today confirming that the decision would stand with no changes, stipulations or future orders.
“The World Boxing Association (WBA) ruled that the ruling of the bout between Oleksandr Usyk and Daniel Dubois, held last August 26, will stand after having thoroughly studied the appeal made by Queensberry Promotions.
On September 4, the company representing Dubois emailed the WBA indicating that Queensberry desired to have the outcome of the bout reversed due to the referee’s action for a punch they considered low in the fifth round.”
The verdict reveals that both sides had their say before going on to address the incident itself, standing by referee Luis Pabón’s decision to call Dubois’ shot illegal.
It is also pointed out that the video and photographic evidence sent by Queensberry contained ‘no clear and conclusive evidence’ that the judgement was incorrect.
The supervisors of the fight were Carlos Ortiz (IBF), Ed Levine (IBO), Thomas Puetz (WBO) and Jesper Jensen (WBA). The supervisor of the pioneer body, Jensen, determined that referee Luis Pabón made the correct decision regarding the punch which he considered an accidental low blow.
With the supervisor’s opinion, the WBA decided to send the case to the International Officials Committee, who on September 11, issued their review and found that there was no clear and conclusive evidence that the original decision made by Pabon on Dubois’ punch to Usyk was wrong.
They also concluded that no TV clip had evidence that the decision was incorrect. In addition, they asserted that “the original decision of the low blow must stand, as there is no indispensable evidence to prove otherwise.”
On the other hand, the WBA rules determine that the decision of a low blow and whether a boxer who receives it can continue are strict competences of the referee and he is the only one authorised to make these decisions.
There was some talk of Dubois keeping his mandatory position should a rematch be out of the question, but there is no mention of such an outcome within the statement.
After studying all the documents, the conclusions of all the instances and the internal rules of the WBA, it was determined that the appeal does not proceed and the decision of the fight stands with the victory and defense of the champion Usyk.
Dubois has dropped to seventh in the sanctioning body’s heavyweight rankings.
Meanwhile, Usyk moves ahead. He has recently announced that an undisputed bout with Tyson Fury – also promoted by Queensberry – is signed for Saudi Arabia with a date to be announced.