(Reuters) - The World Boxing Association (WBA) has upheld Oleksandr Usyk's win over Daniel Dubois, with the governing body saying it found "no clear and conclusive evidence" that the referee had incorrectly ruled a fifth-round punch as a low blow.
World heavyweight champion Usyk went down in the fifth round of the bout in Poland in August after being hit on the band of his shorts. The referee ruled it a low blow and gave Usyk nearly four minutes to recover.
The Ukrainian then claimed a ninth-round knockout win to retain his WBA, IBF and WBO belts.
Dubois' promoter Frank Warren said it had been a legitimate shot by his fighter, with Warren's Queensberry Promotions lodging an appeal last month to declare the loss a 'No Contest' and order a rematch.
"The supervisor of the pioneer body, (Jesper) Jensen, determined that referee Luis Pabon made the correct decision regarding the punch, which he considered an accidental low blow," the WBA said in a statement on Thursday.
"With the supervisor's opinion, the WBA decided to send the case to the International Officials Committee, who on Sept. 11, issued their review and found that there was no clear and conclusive evidence that the original decision made by Pabon on Dubois' punch to Usyk was wrong.
"They also concluded that no TV clip had evidence that the decision was incorrect.
"After studying all the documents ... it was determined that the appeal does not proceed and the decision of the fight stands with the victory and defence of the champion Usyk."
Usyk is set to take on WBC world champion Tyson Fury in a unification fight in Saudi Arabia.
(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)