Oleksandr Usyk’s most recent victory has been marred by controversy.
The unified WBA, WBO, and IBF heavyweight world champion was dominating, according to the scorecards, before stopping Daniel Dubois in round nine on Saturday night.
However, some people consider Usyk lucky to still be champion after he was dropped by a heavy shot in round five and given several minutes to recover after referee Luis Pabon claimed it was a low blow.
As fans debated if the shot was legal, and Dubois’ promoter, Frank Warren, claimed he would appeal the result, one person was digging through footage from Usyk’s amateur career.
An unearthed clip shows ‘The Cat’ had a very different reaction to a low blow he suffered ten years ago.
Prior to entering the paid ranks, Usyk helped team Ukraine Otamens come second in the 2013 World Series of Boxing by winning all six of his bouts in the heavyweight division.
As part of this competition, he fought out Azerbaijan heavyweight Magomedrasul Majidov whom he beat by a lopsided unanimous decision.
Although the scorecards didn’t suggest it, Usyk was actually forced to bounce back from adversity after being dropped with a body shot in round three.
Like Dubois, Majidov landed a blow on Usyk’s belt line causing the boxing superstar to fall to his knees and suggest he had been hit with an illegal punch.
However, on this occasion, the referee immediately began counting out Usyk and he jumped straight back to his feet, even though he appeared to be in pain.
Just moments later, he was forced to continue trading punches with Majidov and it seems likely he would’ve done the same thing if the in-ring official had made the same call during his fight with Dubois.
Despite joking about a bare-knuckle street fight with ‘DDD’ in the aftermath of their fight, Usyk is focused on becoming the first four-belt champion in heavyweight history by beating WBC titleholder Tyson Fury.
‘The Gypsy King’ is likely to face Usyk in 2024, but first, he must make good on his favourite tag when he squares off against former UFC champion Francis Ngannou on October 28.
In the meantime, Filip Hrgovic will be pushing for his shot at Usyk’s IBF belt after recently becoming their heavyweight mandatory challenger by knocking out Demsey McKean.
Hrgovic insists he will not step aside for the biggest fight in boxing.