Usyk's team wins purse bid for Dubois fight for $8.057 million
Unified heavyweight title fight ticketed for August in Poland; TGB wins auction for Garcia-Roach mandatory for $410,000
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K2 Promotions, which represents three-belt heavyweight titlist Oleksandr Usyk, easily won the WBA purse bid on Thursday in Houston for his mandatory defense against “regular” titlist Daniel Dubois.
It bid $8,057,000 to blow away an offer of $5,620,050 made by Queensberry Promotions, which promotes Dubois and was the only other bidder. Minimum bid was $1 million.
Usyk is entitled to 75 percent ($6,042,750), but could have made a deal with his promoter for less to allow it to bid enough to gain control of the bout. Dubois is due 25 percent ($2,014,250).
K2 promoter Alex Krassyuk told Fight Freaks Unite the fight will take place Aug. 12 at the 45,000-seat Wroclaw Stadium in Wroclaw, Poland. That is the same venue where then-WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko stopped Polish star Tomasz Adamek in a 2011 title defense.
The bidding form turned into the WBA at the auction also listed Aug. 5 as a possible date either in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia or Manchester, England.
Before the fight was set for a purse bid, Krassyuk and Frank Warren of Queensberry Promotions were discussing a deal to have the fight this summer in Poland, which borders Usyk’s war-torn home country of Ukraine and offers him the closest thing to home fight. He has not boxed in Ukraine since 2015 in the bout before he won his first world title belt at cruiserweight.
Usyk was planning to face lineal/WBC champion Tyson Fury on April 29 but that deal fell apart when Usyk walked away due to Fury’s untenable demands related to terms of a rematch clause and the overdue WBA mandatory was ordered.
Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs), a 36-year-old southpaw and the former undisputed cruiserweight champion, has been idle since winning a second consecutive unanimous decision over former two-time unified titlist Anthony Joshua in their rematch last August in Jeddah.
Dubois (19-1, 18 KOs), 25, of England, won the “regular” title by fourth-round knockout of Trevor Bryan in last June and made his first defense against Kevin Lerena in December on the Fury-Derek Chisora II undercard. Dubois was lucky to survive three knockdowns and a knee injury in the first round to stop Lerena in the third. He figures to be a significant underdog against Usyk.
TGB wins Garcia-Roach rights
In the other purse bid held by the WBA on Thursday in Houston, TGB Promotions won the rights to Hector Luis Garcia’s junior lightweight mandatory defense against Lamont Roach.
TGB, which promotes Garcia, won with an offer of $410,000 to beat the only other offer, which was $351,000 made by No Xcuse Boxing Promotions, the company headed by Lamont Roach Sr., Roach’s father and trainer. Minimum bid was $120,000.
On the bidding form turned into the WBA at the auction, TGB listed possible dates for the fight as July 22 and Aug. 19, both in Las Vegas (on what would be a PBC card).
Garcia (16-1, 10 KOs), 31, a southpaw from the Dominican Republic, won the 130-pound belt by decision over Roger Gutierrez in August but he has not yet defended the title. Instead, in his only bout since winning it, he moved up to lightweight to challenge WBA “regular” titlist Gervonta Davis and got knocked out in the ninth round on Jan. 7.
Roach (23-1-1, 9 KOs), 27, of Washington, D.C., challenged then-WBO titleholder Jamel Herring as a mandatory in November 2019 and lost a competitive decision. Since then, Roach has won four fights in a row, most recently by unanimous decision against Angel Rodriguez on the Ryan Garcia-Javier Fortuna undercard in July in Los Angeles. After that fight he became a promotional free agent after having spent his career with Golden Boy.
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Photos: Usyk: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing; Garcia: Ryan Hafey/PBC
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Fury just wanted the fight, Usyk wanted a rematch to garner more money but if it was a good fight there would be calls for a re-match. To me it shouted that Usyk isn't confident of beating Fury whose not just bigger, he's massively bigger and it boils down to a good big man will always beat a good little man. There's nothing Usyk does that Fury hasn't an answer to, unlike AJ who has few tools in his bag, Fury can walk Usyk down, he can switch hit, he can fight on the back foot or he can do the lot. I personally think Fury will win this fight fairly easily.
Usyk is favourite but Dubois can punch and at the least has a punchers chance.