"Usyk Holds onto WBA Heavyweight Title as Daniel Dubois' Protest Falls Short"
The WBA (World Boxing Association) has upheld the referee’s decision following the Oleksandr Usyk vs. Daniel Dubois bout on August 26th. As a result, Oleksandr Usyk remains the WBA heavyweight champion. This decision comes in the wake of an appeal made by Daniel Dubois’ promoter, Queensberry Promotions, which was ultimately denied by the WBA.
The contentious bout occurred in Wrocław, Poland, where Usyk not only defended his WBA title but also his WBO and IBF (and IBO) belts. Usyk secured a victory via technical knockout after a controversial incident in the fifth round. During the bout, Dubois landed a punch on Usyk’s beltline, which Dubois and Queensberry Promotions argued was a legal knockout blow. However, referee Luis Pabon deemed it a low blow and provided Usyk with a five-minute recovery period instead of counting him out.
Queensberry Promotions lodged a protest on September 4th, seeking a reversal of the bout’s outcome due to the referee’s decision in the fifth round. Usyk’s team responded to the appeal on September 12th, presenting their arguments and perspectives on the fight. The fight was supervised by officials from various governing bodies, including Carlos Ortiz (IBF), Ed Levine (IBO), Thomas Puetz (WBO), and Jesper Jensen (WBA). Jensen, representing the WBA, determined that referee Luis Pabón made the correct call by categorizing the punch as an accidental low blow.
With the endorsement of the supervisor’s opinion, the WBA referred the case to the International Officials Committee, which issued its review on September 11th. The committee found no clear and conclusive evidence to challenge the original decision made by Pabon regarding Dubois’ punch to Usyk. Furthermore, they determined that no television footage presented concrete proof to dispute the referee’s decision. The committee stressed that under WBA rules, the referee has the sole authority to decide on low blows and a boxer’s ability to continue after such an incident.
After a thorough examination of all documents, considerations from various authorities, and adherence to the WBA’s internal rules, it was concluded that the appeal lacked merit. As a result, the decision of the fight stands, with Usyk retaining his WBA heavyweight title and securing his victory and title defense.