WBA reject appeal from Warren to overturn Usyk-Dubois result

The World Boxing Association has rejected the appeal submitted by Frank Warren of Queensberry Promotions, seeking to overturn the result of the unified world heavyweight contest between Oleksandr Usyk and Daniel Dubois.

In August, the heavyweight pairing faced each other in Wroclaw, Poland, in a WBA-mandated title defence for Usyk. Usyk would ultimately win the contest in nine rounds courtesy of a knockout.

The controversy surrounding the contest came in the fifth round of the contest. Dubois would land a body shot on Usyk, which saw the unified world champion require in excess of four minutes of recovery time after the shot was ruled an unintentional foul by referee Luis Pabon.

Naturally, this ruling on the night incensed Frank Warren and the Dubois team, which confirmed that they intended to immediately appeal the result in pursuit of the result being overturned or reinstalled as mandatory challenger.

Frank Warren had confirmed on 5 September that the appeal had been lodged with the WBA, of which Usyk and K2 Promotions confirmed receipt of the appeal on 12 September.

In documents first received by, the WBA championship committee chairman confirmed that the result will stand.

“After careful review of the appeal, the reply, all documents, and evidence presented by both the appellant and respondent, the report of the supervisor, and the report of the International Officials Committee, the Championships Committee has determined that the appellant has not met his burden of proof in having the Committee set aside the result of the Usyk-Dubois bout, WBA Championship Committee chairman Carlos Chavez noted in the official ruling.

“As the WBA supervisor, Mr. Jesper D Jensen has advised the committee that the referee, Mr. Luis Pabon, made the correct decision with regard to the blow,” noted Chavez. “During the bout, Mr. Pabon informed Mr. Jensen that he considered the blow to be accidental. In addition to the opinion of the supervisor, the WBA asked its International Officials Committee to review the appeal, the reply, and videotape recordings of the 5th round. That Committee reported on 11 September 2023 to the Championships Committee that the President that “there is no clear and conclusive video evidence that the original call of a low blow in round five declared by Referee Mr. Luis Pabon was made in error.”

The statement also states, “The Committee further concluded that none of the television tape recordings had convincing evidence that the referee’s “call of a low blow was incorrect.”

Usyk is set to face WBC world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury in late December/early January 2024 and will be able to proceed wholly into that encounter, which, despite being agreed between all parties, is yet to have an official fight date confirmed.