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Frank Warren vows to force Usyk vs Dubois rematch with appeal of controversial defeat

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Daniel Dubois’ promoter Frank Warren has vowed to appeal the heavyweight’s defeat to Oleksandr Usyk and force a rematch between the pair.

Defending champion Usyk had been tipped to face Tyson Fury for a unification showdown should he beat Dubois in Wroclaw on Saturday night, and yet that potential fight is at risk given the manner of his victory.

After dominating the opening rounds, Usyk hit the canvas after a body shot from Dubois in the fifth and struggled to get back to his feet. Referee Luis Pabon immediately deemed the shot illegal and allowed the Ukrainian a number of minutes to regain his composure and continue the fight.

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Usyk went on to retain his belts with a ninth-round stoppage, after which Dubois and his camp made their fury known.

Replays showed his shot land on the waistband of his opponent and Warren was mystified at the referee not deducting points off Dubois, given he had deemed it an illegal punch.

The 71-year-old told the post-fight interview that the call was “badly wrong” and a “hometown decision” in front of the Polish crowd which largely favoured Usyk and booed the shot.

He added: “This is a boxing match and should be above board, but it was not a low blow. It’s a nonsense, a total nonsense. The governing bodies must order a rematch.”

Warren confirmed his intention to launch an appeal as Dubois insisted: “I didn’t think that was a low blow, I thought it landed and I’ve been cheated out of a victory.”

For a rematch to be successfully ordered, it must be agreed on by all the governing bodies that sanctioned the fight with the Ukrainian’s WBA, WBO, IBO and IBF belts retained on Saturday.

Usyk dismissed the appeals and referred to the punch when he described the Brit as having “no power, only on my balls” despite the shot appearing to land around his naval.

“Boxing is tough, but I’m great,” he stated. “It’s boxing I love and I respect my opponent. But it’s boxing, it’s not ballet. It’s boxing.”