Oleksandr Usyk (21-0, 14 KO) retained his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO and The Ring heavyweight titles earlier tonight (Sat., Aug. 26, 2023) live on ESPN+ from inside Tarczynski Arena in Wroclaw, Poland, defeating Daniel Dubois (19-2, 18 KO) via ninth-round knockout. However, Usyk’s victory was marred by a bit of controversary.
Usyk took control in the early going with some crisp lead jabs, powerful straight lefts, and consistent footwork. Dubois didn’t have much time to offer his own offense since Usyk was so in-and-out with his entries. The larger Dubois landed a few good shots in the third and fourth, but he was waiting on his power too much. Dubois did score a nice body shot which really seemed to bother the champion.
Dubois went back to the body early into the fifth, but it was too low. The punch seemed to connect with Usyk’s groin and the Ukrainian fighter dropped to the canvas in pain. Upon further review, it looked like the punch may have been legal. After a long break the action continued. Even though the punch was not recorded as an official strike it lit a fire under Dubois. He was more active, started to track Usyk down, and lined up additional body shots.
Both heavyweights had their moments in the middle frames. Dubois was stretching his gas tank more than ever and kept trying to find the body. Usyk stayed busy with quick punches from range and slick movement around the outer edges. He landed a nice flurry in the seventh that had Dubois on his back foot.
Usyk kept things going in the eighth with a combination that put Dubois down on one knee for the first knockdown of the fight. The champion came back in the ninth round with a brutal right hand to score another knockdown. This time around, Dubois wasn’t able to recover and Usyk was awarded the knockout stoppage.
Check out some of the action below:
The first knockdown that set it all up pic.twitter.com/LWa53707Ml— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) August 26, 2023