Just Because: A week of rematches, scheduled and demanded, hard to sell with a straight face

As we approach the midpoint of this week, we find ourselves caught between two fights that should never have happened. These fights may lead to another fight that definitely shouldn’t happen, and a rematch that nobody asked for. Despite this, the rematch is set to take place on Saturday (September 2) in Manchester.

The first fight, between Oleksandr Usyk and Daniel Dubois, came about due to the World Boxing Association’s (WBA) reckless decision to rank Dubois highly in their ratings, despite his lack of notable wins as a professional. As a result, Dubois earned a WBA “Regular” title, which is more of a burden than an achievement. This led to a fight with Usyk in Poland last Saturday (August 26), a fight that was predictably one-sided. However, in the fifth round, Dubois dropped Usyk with a low blow, introducing controversy to an otherwise one-sided affair. Now, Dubois’ promoter, Frank Warren, is campaigning for a rematch, hoping to salvage a victory and get paid twice.

Warren claimed that Dubois should have been declared the new unified heavyweight champion if the rules were followed properly. He argues that Dubois was denied his moment of glory due to the low blow incident. The strategy devised for Dubois was to target Usyk’s weakness in the body, which seemed to unsettle Usyk. However, it’s important to note that Dubois did not weaken Usyk significantly and both fighters reacted in a typical manner when a low blow occurs.

Warren acknowledges that there is controversy surrounding the incident, with some arguing that Usyk would have gotten up if a count had started. He is currently putting together a case to present to the WBA, seeking a rematch or a no-contest decision. However, it is unlikely that these efforts will bear fruit, and it may be best for Dubois to move on from this fight.

Another rematch making headlines this week is between Liam Smith and Chris Eubank Jr. Despite a conclusive outcome in their first encounter, both fighters are seeking a rematch. Smith’s victory included a stray elbow, leading to speculation and uncertainty regarding the result. While Smith claims that the elbow had minimal impact, Eubank Jr. suggests it affected him significantly. This controversy has set the stage for a rematch that further extends these fighters’ careers.

Overall, both rematches carry intrigue and competitiveness that the Usyk vs. Dubois rematch lacks. They may not be ideal or necessary, but they provide entertainment and opportunities for these fighters to prove themselves once again.

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