Experts dis­agreed and could not under­stand where the blow land­ed, after which Usyk came to his sens­es for sev­er­al min­utes.

Over the week­end, a box­ing evening took place in Wro­claw, Poland, in the main event of which there was a heavy­weight fight between Alexan­der Usik and Daniel Dubois.

Many were expect­ing a fight between Usik and the best heavy­weight in the world, Tyson Fury, but it fell through. The par­ties did not agree on fees, and Fury chose ex-UFC cham­pi­on Fran­cis Ngan­nou. Usik faced a less hyped chal­lenger: he defeat­ed Dubois and defend­ed the IBF, WBO and WBA heavy­weight belts.

Why is Usik’s victory considered controversial?

Usyk took almost all nine rounds and end­ed the fight with a tech­ni­cal knock­out, hit­ting Dubois in the liv­er. Not every­one was impressed by the fin­ish, and some fans even sus­pect­ed the box­ers of a fixed match.

How­ev­er, this does not seem very true. After the defeat, Dubois and his team protest furi­ous­ly — they are sure that Usyk lost by knock­out in the fifth round. Dubois threw a punch to the body area, after which Usyk fell. The ref­er­ee decid­ed that the blow land­ed below the belt and stopped the fight for sev­er­al min­utes.

Every­thing was accord­ing to the rules — low blows are pro­hib­it­ed, and the ref­er­ee gave Usyk time to recov­er. The fact of an ille­gal strike became con­tro­ver­sial. You can decide for your­self from the frame whether the Briton was hit below the belt:

Low blow that knocked Usyk down

Usyk is accused of simulation — his opponent is trying to overturn the result

On replay, it’s hard to see exact­ly where Dubois hit. Experts and fans dis­agreed: some believe that Usyk was fak­ing, while oth­ers are sure that the blow fell below the belt. Although it is dif­fi­cult to under­stand even on video.

Usik insists that his oppo­nent punched him in the groin and is ready to give him revenge on the street: “Did I feel the pow­er of Dubois? Not me, just my balls.”

Dubois’ team is try­ing to appeal the result of the fight — the box­er does not hide his anger: “I don’t think it was a blow below the belt! I was deceived and deprived of vic­to­ry!”

Dubois’s pro­mot­er Frank War­ren has already begun to act: “The vic­to­ry was stolen from him, the blow fell on the elas­tic of his under­pants. He worked on this shot through­out train­ing camp. We knew that body pro­tec­tion was his weak point. The ref­er­ee made a mis­take. I like Usyk, but the judg­ing was biased. This is non­sense, a real dis­grace.”

Usik spent several minutes recovering from the missed blow.

Many experts (such as the respect­ed Ted­dy Atlas) agreed that the ref­er­ee was wrong. But many believe that the most impor­tant thing is the place on the box­ing shorts where the blow land­ed.

“Any­thing below the navel is clas­si­fied as below the belt in box­ing! This is not my opin­ion, this is a FACT! These are the rules! Your shorts should­n’t cov­er your bel­ly but­ton, but if they do, it’s okay to hit there!” — says for­mer world cham­pi­on Tony Bellew.

The place where Dubois hit

Let us remind you that this is Usik’s first fight in 2023. He last fought in August, when he defeat­ed Antho­ny Joshua in a rematch. Usyk now has a record of 21–0 and holds the WBA, WBO and IBF cham­pi­onship belts.

By the way, before the fight, Usik gained a lot of size: he boast­ed about his form on social net­works, which sur­prised many of his sub­scribers. In the fight with Dubois, for the first time in a long time, the box­er did not look small for his weight, which was not­ed before.

Usik con­firmed that his pow­er is enough to knock out in the heavy divi­sion. He was less mobile than usu­al, but it was enough to defeat Dubois.