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Dubois' camp to lobby for no contest after controversial low blow call
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Press Association
Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk celebrates after beating Britain’s Daniel Dubois (Czarek Sokolowski/AP)
Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk celebrates after beating Britain’s Daniel Dubois (Czarek Sokolowski/AP)

Daniel Dubois’ camp said they are lobbying for a no contest following a controversial low blow call in the British boxer’s loss to world heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk in Wroclaw.

A ninth-round knockout ensured Usyk kept hold of his WBA, IBF and WBO belts with a 14th knockout win in 21 fights, much to the delight of the large contingent of his fellow Ukrainians who have resided in Poland since Russian’s invasion of their country last year.

However, promoter Frank Warren told reporters at the post-fight press conference that the contest was spoiled by the referee’s decision to allow Usyk to recover after he was buckled by a low blow from Dubois in the fifth.

The shot was deemed accidental, but Warren said his camp would be taking action seeking either a no contest or rematch.

He said: “The situation is that we will be lobbying the WBA to declare this as a no contest.

“The knockdown which the referee said was below the belt… the punch actually landed on the waistband of his shorts.

“The criteria, as is explained at the rules meeting, waist is the mid-point of your hips. So it’s much lower.

“That was a legitimate blow and (the fight) should’ve been stopped. He got three minutes and 46 seconds recovery time, which was wrong. He got it wrong the referee and I still don’t understand, if it was a low blow, why he didn’t take any points off him.”

Warren added: “I don’t think (the referee’s) crooked, I think he just got it totally wrong.

“As a result, it should be declared a no contest in the worst case, or a rematch ordered.”

Dubois did not attend the press conference, but earlier told talkSPORT: “It wasn’t to be my night. But that wasn’t a low blow, it was a body shot. I’m gutted.”

Dubois was the overwhelming underdog but he had tipped the scales on Friday almost a stone heavier than Usyk’s 15st and 10lbs frame, and the Londoner did himself justice with a battling performance.

Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky appeared on the giant screens before the fight to deliver a rallying cry for his country in their war with Russia.

The crowd at the Tarczynski Arena chanted “Usyk, Usyk, Usyk” as the action got under way with Dubois determined not to be overawed.

The 25-year-old tried to hold the centre of the ring but Usyk’s accurate jab saw him shade the opening round.

Dubois was more adventurous at the start of the second but was briefly set back on his heels by some powerful shots.

Usyk stayed on the outside to dominate the next two rounds but Dubois was proving many pre-fight predictions wrong by remaining in the contest.

Usyk was put down by the accidental low blow in the fifth, but was given time to recover.

However, Dubois sensed this was his moment and the pair traded heavy punches.

The bad feeling between the pair was evident as the bell sounded and Dubois continued to focus on the Ukrainian’s body in the sixth.

Usyk upped the pace in the seventh, forcing Dubois to take a backward step and leaving the Londoner marked for the first time.

Dubois recovered in the eighth but in the final 10 seconds he was dropped to the canvas.

He managed to get back to his feet as the bell sounded but there was to be no respite for Dubois.

Usyk charged in again and put down Dubois again for the referee Luis Pabon to wave the fight off.

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