Oleksandr Usyk overcame Daniel Dubois to keep hold of his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight world titles at the Stadion, Wroclaw in Poland last night.
The Ukrainian superstar got a 9th round knockout over the Englishman in a fight that has divided opinion.
Usyk (21-0, 14 KOs) was on the canvass during the 5th round when the referee ruled a low blow. The shot has split the thoughts of the boxing world.
“Let me show you a picture.” Promoter Alexander Krassyuk said in the post fight press conference while pointing to a freeze frame of the illegally ruled punch on his mobile phone. “Do we have a definition of legal and illegal? Russ!”
Cornerman Russ Anber quickly jumped to the defense of Usyk.
“The belly button is the line.” Krassyuk said, repeating Anber’s words. “Anything below that is a low blow. If you are hitting the pants, the blow is not legal.”
The 45,000 fans in attendance were shocked to see Usyk on the ground for the first time in his career. Referee Luis Pabon immediately called a time out which saw Usyk take full advantage of to
“Listen, listen.” Usyk followed with. “I’m ready for one more fight [with Dubois] tomorrow in a rematch, in a street fight. No boxing gloves, a street fight.”
Many have called for a rematch despite the complete dominance of Usyk before and after the illegal punch.
“Everyone wants the rematch after they lose, it is normal.” Krassyuk continued. “It is difficult to express respect for the way they treated the fight, the way he wanted to get the victory.”
ProBox TV asked Usyk and his team if they believed Dubois was a ‘dirty fighter’.
“I don’t have idea, I have no idea.” Usyk answered sarcastically.
We followed up with Krassyuk personally after the press conference to get a more detailed response.
“The dirty performance means that you don’t care about what happens if you have some kind of strategy to use this as a leverage to develop your success.” Krassyuk answered. “But how can we say now if this was a strategy or not. We saw several low blows.”
Usyk went on to dominate after the perceived controversial decision, forcing Dubois to the canvass in the 8th round to be stopped a round later when Pabon waved off the contest as Dubois struggled to make the count.