- Daniel Dubois was knocked out by Oleksandr Usyk in the ninth round in August
- Dubois knocked Usyk down in the fifth round, but the punch was deemed low
- Dubois’ team appealed the decision but the final ruling has gone against them
Dubois faced Usyk in Poland for the Ukrainian’s WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles in August and fell behind on points in the early rounds.
But he sent Usyk to the canvas with a body shot in the opening seconds of the fifth round in what looked to be a major turning point in the fight. However, the punch was deemed below the belt and Usyk was given several minutes to recover by referee Luis Pabon.
Replays suggested it was a borderline call, but it went against Dubois and he failed to get a foothold in the bout after that before being stopped by Usyk in the ninth round.
Oleksandr Usyk was sent to the canvas by a body shot, but the punch was deemed a low blow
Usyk was given time to recover and went on to win by knockout in the ninth round
Daniel Dubois appealed the decision after the low blow controversy, but his case has been dismissed
Just under seven weeks on, a ruling has been made by the WBA and it has not gone in Dubois’ favour.
Explaining the decision, WBA Championship Committee chairman Carlos Chavez stated: ‘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.
‘Therefore, the bout decision will not be set aside.’
The ruling is a bitter blow for Dubois who will now need to fight his way back into title contention after suffering the second loss of his professional career.
It is good news for those hoping to see an undisputed clash between Usyk and Tyson Fury, though.
It was revealed last month that a deal had been agreed for the two heavyweight champions to finally meet in the ring, with a date targeted for December or early next year.
With Dubois now out of the running to get a rematch with Usyk, the path is now almost clear for a meeting between the two best heavyweights on the planet.
There is still one obstacle to overcome first, though, with Fury needing to get past former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou in their huge crossover fight on October 28 before he can set his sights on Usyk.
The path has now been cleared for Usyk to face Tyson Fury if he beats Francis Ngannou