Former cruiserweight world champion Johnny Nelson believes Oleksandr Usyk was hit with a legal punch when Daniel Dubois connected with a heavy body shot in the fifth round.
Dubois landed a hard shot to the body that sent Usyk down in pain for several minutes. The punch was ruled as a low blow by referee Luis Pabon.
Usyk was on the floor for some time, complaining of severe pain in the groin area.
He would eventually get back to his feet and continued the fight.
Usyk dropped Dubois in the eighth round and then finished him off in the ninth, with a solid right, to send him down for a second time to secure the stoppage victory.
Dubois and his promoter Frank Warren are planning to lodge an appeal to overturn the outcome to a no-contest. They firmly believe that a valid punch had connected in the fifth and Usyk should have been counted out.
The boxing public is divided, with many observers saying the punch was legal and just as many tabbing it as a low blow.
Nelson felt the punch was valid.
“I don’t think the shot was illegal… And I think what Usyk did is what most footballers do when they get flicked over the ear and they roll about 15 times. I think he milked it, he milked it well, but I think the best man won,” Nelson told Talk Sport.
However, Nelson believes Usyk would have gotten up - had the referee issued a count - and eventually moved forward to beat Dubois in the later rounds.
“I don’t think [Dubois] was robbed at all, I do think that it wasn’t a low blow, but I still don’t think he’d have beaten Usyk,” Nelson said.
“Usyk could have hustled his way through the round, but the referee gave him time to recover. What makes you think Usyk couldn’t have recovered that round… I just think Usyk would still have had the skills to get through it, but we’ll never know, that’s the debate. If most of us are true and honest we’d hoped that Daniel would win, he had a punchers chance to win the fight… and if they fight again the same thing will happen.”