Was The Body Shot Daniel Dubois Landed On Oleksandr Usyk Fair or Foul?

By Boxing News - 08/28/2023 - Comments

By Vince D’Writer: On Saturday night, August 26th, WBA/WBO/IBF heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk successfully defended his unified title as he defeated Daniel Dubois (19-2, 18 KOs) at Wroclaw Stadium in Wroclaw, Poland.

Once again, Usyk demonstrated his highly skilled brand of boxing as he outclassed Dubois throughout the fight, and he proceeded to end the bout when he scored a ninth round knockout. Usyk should be enjoying his second successful title defense, but unfortunately, his victory is being tainted by a controversial incident.

In the opening round of the contest, both boxers were battling for position as Usyk had success taking his time and landing the jab. The defending champion continued to control the pace in the second round by pressing forward and landing well-placed shots.

Oleksandr Usyk’s ring generalship and accuracy was once again highlighted in the third round as he consistently landed his jab and the one-two combination. Dubois had a bit of success in the 4th round when he scored with a solid right hand shot.

Coming into this heavyweight clash, it was clear that Usyk is the better boxer, and he was the overwhelming favorite. Dubois entered the bout with his chance of winning the fight being labeled as a puncher’s chance.

The opportunity for the challenger to capitalize on his puncher’s chance occurred early in the fifth round. In the opening moment of the fifth, Dubois landed a body shot that sent Usyk down to the canvas, but unfortunately for Dubois, the referee called it a low blow.

While Usyk was sitting on the floor wincing in pain, the referee proceeded to call timeout. After utilizing a few minutes to recuperate, Usyk rose to his feet and tried to walk it off. Following a three-minute rest, Usyk stood in the corner and told the referee he was ready, but the referee encouraged Usyk to take more time.

Once the timeout hit close to the four-minute mark, the fight finally resumed, and Usyk showed his experience and resiliency by landing multiple combinations. Usyk picked up the pace in the seventh round as he continued to land combinations while Dubois was landing single shots.

In the closing seconds of the eighth round, the defending champion landed a combination that forced Dubois to drop to his knees. Dubois was able to rise to his feet as the round came to a close.

At the midway point of round nine, Usyk landed a sharp right hand that sent Daniel Dubois back down to the canvas. Dubois was on one knee watching the referee count, and he started to get up when the count reached nine, but the referee decided to put a halt to the contest.

Oleksandr Usyk (21-0, 14 KOs) successfully defended his title in front of thousands of his Ukrainian fans, but the victory was overshadowed by the incident that took place in the fifth round of the championship bout.

After failing to capitalize in the 5th round, it seemed like Daniel Dubois mentally checked out. Dubois mentally checked out, and Oleksandr Usyk picked up the pace and then eventually closed the show.

If we revisit the fifth round, was the shot that Daniel Dubois landed fair or foul? According to the rules, if a boxer’s navel is covered by his shorts, the belt line is a legal blow. Unfortunately for Dubois the judgment call made by the referee didn’t go in his favor.

Even though the punch may have been a legal blow, the question is, if the referee would have called the shot a legitimate shot, would Oleksandr Usyk have been able to get up? The short answer is yes.

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Usyk appeared to be hurt by the shot, but if the referee would have started his count, the odds are in favor of Usyk getting up and surviving the round. Due to the incident that happened in the fifth round, Daniel Dubois and his team feel the bout deserves a rematch, but a repeat may be unnecessary.

For one, Daniel Dubois was losing every round because he was playing it safe and not taking any chances. Another reason why a rematch may not be necessary is because the weather assisted Dubois, and he still wasn’t able to pull out the victory.

As the rain poured down in Wroclaw Stadium, the ring was secured by a tarp that was positioned ten feet above it. Even though the tarp was in position, parts of the ring were wet. When Dubois and Usyk moved around the ring, you could hear their shoes making a squeaking sound.
With that being said, Dubois failed to take advantage of Usyk having a limited asset. Due to the wet canvas, Usyk wasn’t able to fully use one of his main weapons, which is his exceptional footwork.

As it relates to the referee making the wrong judgment call in the fifth, Daniel Dubois may have an argument. The problem is, hypothetically speaking, if the shot would have been called a knockdown, the probability of Usyk getting up and still winning the fight is high.

With that being said, a rematch is something that Dubois may deserve, but due to his performance outside of that moment in fifth, a Usyk-Dubois rematch won’t be in public demand.