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Oleksandr Usyk (20-0-0, 13KOs) is one of the very best boxers in the world today. The spotlight has been stolen in recent weeks by Naoya Inoue and Terence Crawford, but make no mistake, Usyk has more than proved he belongs on that level throughout his career. This week, he returns after a year-long layoff to take on the young British challenger, Daniel Dubois (19-1-0, 18KOs), in Wroclaw, Poland.
The 25-year-old Dubois has shown vulnerabilities, both in his lone loss to Joe Joyce and in being dropped three times in the first round in his most recent fight, by Kevin Lerena. He is, however, a young, improving fighter with a new coaching team and a huge size advantage. A win would catapult him to a new level, so he certainly won’t be here to lie down. Look for Usyk to bring his overwhelming volume to bear as the fight goes on, but he can’t take this opponent lightly.
Usyk vs Dubois will be broadcast in the US on ESPN+ as a single-fight broadcast starting at 5pm ET. The UK broadcast will be a pay-per-view on TNT Sports (formerly BT Sport), starting at 6pm BST (1PM Eastern). We will post highlights of that below as they come up.
A couple of quick notes on the timing: firstly, the full card is quite long and complicated, trying to satisfy the British broadcasters, Usyk’s Ukranian fans and partners, and the local Polish crowd. That means it seems a little uncertain what the order will be, so you may see what’s posted below change as results come in. It also means it’s highly unlikely that all 12 fights will be on the main broadcast- there isn’t a schedule for an online early prelims show just yet, but keep an eye out, sometimes they pop up on the day.
Lastly, that 5pm main event time will as ever be dependent on how the card goes. Stay tuned here for updates if it runs long.
Update: The main card did run a little long, but 20 minutes after time we’re going live with the ringwalks. Join us below for the PBP.
Oleksandr Usyk vs Daniel Dubois: Live play-by-play
Round 1: An open-stance matchup, this, with Usyk the Southpaw. So there’s a lot of pawing at each others’ jabs to open. Dubois, under new coach Don Charles, belying his talk of coming out to focus on bullying aggression, looks lighter on his feet than in the past. But not in Usyk’s league, as Usyk has managed to successfully circle him a few times already early on. Seems to be trying to draw Usyk on to counters. Mostly not working, but he’s landed a shot or two. Usyk looking very confident early. 10-9 Usyk
Round 2: Usyk splitting Dubois’ guard at will with his jab. Staggers Dubois with a straight left down the middle. The Brit having real trouble with the angles and circling, he’s a very straight-lined fihter. Rocked again by the same straight left. Working the body some too. Dubois does land an uppercut as Usyk moves, but Usyk has mostly asserted control in this round. Dubois seems reluctant to throw his right hand, jabs only from him. 10-9 Usyk, 20-18
Round 3: Once again Usyk opens jabbing. Dubois got one shot home to the body, but Usyk starting to up the tempo. Usyk caught off-balance with a trip, followed by a low blow from Dubois. But he is trying to intercept Usyk’s movement with a left hook, which is smart. Not catching him, but making the movement to Usyk’s right harder. Usyk still winning this round, but he had to back off a little in the second half. Usyk finishes with a combination. 10-9 Usyk, 30-27
Round 4: Dubois stands the round aggressively, to initial success but then a jab backs him off. Now an uppercut counter, but Usyk covers it. The champion back on his busy busy jab. A short right by Dubois backs Usyk back as he tries to get a combination going. Tries the left hook but Usyk matadors him. The ring seems to be getting slippery- you can hear their shoes squeak. This is an outdoor fight in the rain, and the covers may not be doing a good enough job. Anyway, Dubois had some tricks but Usyk’s volume and accuracy, especially with his jab, still gives him the round. 10-9 Usyk, 40-36
Round 5: Dubois opens with a low blow that flattens Usyk. He’s in agony. He’s still down after a good minute, might not be able to continue. He’s fine, he says, the ref wants him to take his time, Usyk wants to continue immediately. The ref is giving him the full five minutes if he wants it or not. That could be controversial to be honest- borderline from some shots whether it was actually low. Though realistically it was. Dubois senses his chance and comes out firing. Going for more of those body shots. Usyk complaining about them, but they’re definitely fine. Usyk fighting angry, snapping his jab in now and rocks Dubois back with a left. Stepping on the gas himself as the round closes. This is a tight round, Dubois started strong after that pause but Usyk put his stamp on it once he shook off the effects of the blow. And they fight after rthe bell. Bad blood here. 10-9 Usyk, 50-45
Round 6: First minute of the round is slow, as both just take stock, but then Usyk starts to find his way in close and lands a solid combination on the ropes. Couple of right hand counters catch him on the move, but his success is in spots, Usyk working much more consistently. Dubois gotten a bit timid, he might have gassed himself a bit in the previous rounds. Closes the show with a couple strong bodyshots, but still an Usyk round. 10-9 Usyk, 60-54
Round 7: This ring is not in a good way. Squeaks with every step. Hopefully it doesn’t become an issue. Fight proceeding as per, jabs from Usyk, the odd power shot from Dubois- but he draws a reaction from Usyk with a body blow. Bit more caution from both men for a while, then Usyk backs him up. Dubois doesn’t have the energy to throw consistently, even if he sees he’s got a reaction. Usyk starting to push the tempo as the round closes. 10-9, 70-63
Round 8: Dubois trying to impose himself as the round starts, pushing forward. It’s whether he can last as Usyk cranks the tempo that is the question, since the Ukranian does not slow down. Every round now is ending with extended attacks. Dubois is living with them well so far, and as I type that he drops to a knee after a combination. Gets up and saved by the bell. 10-8 Usyk, 80-71
Round 9: Another low blow by Dubois. Doesn’t stop the fight this time. Usyk responds by pushing forward, Dubois responds but Usyk’s pushing with two and a half minutes left, he senses Dubois can’t handle a round of this. Closes range and lands a sharp right hook. And a sharp right hand drops Dubois for the second time! And he doesn’t beat the count! Excellent performance. Usyk wins, TKO-9
Oleskander – Usyk was marred by a number of low blows that engendered some chat back from the commentators and social media.
Basically what happened was both US and British commentary teams think Usyk should have been called down and therefore counted out there, and it’s not an obvious obvious nutshot, so I get it.
There’s a bit of controversy in the Usyk fight over whether this was really a low blow. What do you think? Tell us in the comments.
It’s too bad Oleskander – Usyk might be remembered for the low blow(s).
Results and highlights
WBA, WBO, and IBF heavyweight titles: Oleksandr Usyk TKO 9 Daniel Dubois
Super-lightweight: Aadam Hamed TKO-1 Vojtech Hrdy
- Hamed is the son of the legendary Prince Naseem. Him being the co-feature on his debut is silly, but what can you do.
- Not much more to say. Hrdy, a fighter with 2 losses and 1 win, was selected for the fight late on Friday. It’s a showcase, pure and simple.
- First round TKO as Hrdy’s corner threw the towel in with their man on the ropes.
Lightweight: Denys Berinchyk UD Anthony Yigit 117-111, 115-113 116-112
- Berinchyk is a Ukranian former amateur who won silvers at the world championships and 2012 Olympics. His pro career failed to take off for a long while, despite a line in spectacular ringwalks that you should look up on youtube, but he scored a notable win in December last year and is hoping to build on that with a win against the experienced Yigit.
- Yigit (27-3-1, 10 KOs) has been around. He’s fought for world titles and held a European belt. He lost in dominant fashion to highly touted prospect Keyshawn Davis last year, and will be hoping to show he’s more than a gatekeeper here.
- There’s also a bit of revenge in the mix- that 2012 silver for Berinchyk came with a win over Yigit along the way.
- A back-and-forth clash of styles with Berinchyk having success when he can barrel forward and impose his strength, but Yigit finding moments with some tidy outboxing.
- Not the greatest fight through most of the rounds, but it caught fire in the last as the two decided to go toe-to-toe and trade it out.
- 117-111, 115-113 116-112 to Berinchyk
Lightweight: Yaroslaw Khartsyz UD-4 Konrad Chajkowski
- Swing bout alert! Sheeraz’s quick win means these two get a chance to shine on the telly. Nice to see it- a lot of boxing promoters have forgone swing fights in favour of endless studio filler.
- Fairly one-sided in the event, with Khartsyz just having too much skill for his opponent.
Middleweight: Hamzah Sheeraz TKO-2 Dmytro Mytrofanov
- Sheeraz (17-0-0, 13KOs) is a rising star from the UK, looking to make an impression having moved up to middleweight last year. He’s a nice fighter to watch, a good smooth combination puncher when it’s all flowing, and has some good promotional support from TNT so expect to see more of him in future.
- Mytrofanov (13-0-1, 6KOs) is a former amateur who turned pro in 2017. His career has been somewhat interrupted since then. He’ll be hoping to jump himself to the top of the division with a win here.
- Sheeraz came out like a house on fire, scoring three knockdowns in the first round and firing off multiple combinations, all from behind a dominant jab.
- No change in the second round, as he drops Mytrofanov 30 seconds in and the referee waves it off. A dominant display, Mytrofanov had nothing for him.
Middlweight: Anauel Ngamissengue MD Fiodor Czerkaszyn 76-74, 75-75, 78-72
- Czerkaszyn, a Ukranian/Polish former Muay Thai fighter and kickboxer, has been boxing in earnest since 2018. He’s been making his way up the middleweight division rankings in recent years and will be looking to prove that the marketing push behind him is not just a hype job here.
- His opponent, the Congolese Ngamissengue, is also unbeaten, fighting for the first time outside his adopted nation of France. He’ll want to show he’s not just been brought in to look good on the boxrec record.
- Czerkashyn controlling early, fighting on the back foot and repeatedly drawing his opponent onto sharp left hooks. Ngamissengue did find some success towards the end of round 2, though.
- That gave him confidence in round 3, which saw the Frenchman push forward and score 2 knockdowns.
- No further knockdowns in the rounds immediately following, but Czerkaszyn’s confidence has gotten brittle. He’s finding spots of success at times still, but Ngamissengue is bulling in happy in the knowledge that if he tags his opponent he can hurt him.
- An excellent back-and-forth in the end, with Czerkaszyn’s classier boxing constantly interrupted by Ngamissengue’s power and aggression.
- Final scores 76-74, 75-75, 78-72 Ngamisengue
Light Heavyweight: Daniel Lapin TKO-6 Aro Schwartz
Welterweight: Vasile Cebotari TKO-6 Joel Julio
Heavyweight: Lazizbek Mullojonov TKO-1 Nursultan Amanzholov
Middlweight: Rafal Wolczecki TKO-3 Roberto Arriaza
Super Lightweight: Ziyad Almaayouf UD6 Janos Penzes
Super Lightweight: Bryce Mills UD6 Damian Tymosz
Featherweight: Oleksandr Solomennikov vs Piotr Gudel
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