By Sedara Philip
Ukrainian heavyweight boxer Oleksandr Usyk has successfully defended his WBA, WBO, IBO and IBF titles by defeating challenger Daniel Dubois via a TKO in the ninth round of their meeting in Poland.
Holder of the heavyweight titles since taking them off Anthony Joshua in 2021, Usyk faced mandatory challenger Dubois, a man 11 years his junior, with his titles on the line. The bout was held in front of tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees in Poland.
Usyk was the superior boxer in the bout, and his quality and experience shone through as he dominated the fight which was slightly marred by controversy when Dubois hit Usyk with a blow deemed by the referee to have been below the belt, although the Brit maintained that his blow had been a legal body blow. Usyk, who was knocked down by the blow but the referee gave him five minutes to recover from the hit.
Dubois suffered a TKO when he was hit flush on the jaw by a powerful right hand 48 seconds into the ninth round of the encounter, sending him to the canvas.
Usyk defended his title and will now look to pursue a unification bout against Tyson Fury next, although the British fighter has rejected a 70-30 profit split so far. The Ukrainian also has the option of a rematch with Dubois, who is prepared to activate a rematch clause as he feels slighted by the decision of the referee. The 2012 Olympic gold medallist has his sights set on Fury, and will do everything to get in the ring with him.