Daniel Dubois’ trainer adamantly insists that his charge did not punch Oleksandr Usyk in the testicles.

Ukraine’s Usyk, the unified WBO, WBA, IBO, IBF heavyweight champion, stopped England’s Dubois in nine rounds before a packed partisan crowd in Wroclaw, Poland.

But controversy erupted midway through the bout, in the fifth round, when Dubois landed a hard right hand that seemingly strayed low, causing Usyk to bowl over in noticeable pain. Referee Luis Pabon determined that the shot was illegal and thus gave the Ukrainian ample time to recover. Save for that instance, Usyk controlled almost every moment in the fight.

After the fight, Usyk (21-0, 14 KOs) suggested he had been hit squarely in the region below the pelvis, telling an outlet that he sensed Dubois’ power “only in my balls.”

However, James Ali Bashir, the trainer of Dubois, promptly rejected that possibility. Bashir, who trained Usyk for several years when he was still a cruiserweight, also rejected the notion that his team had instructed Dubois to punch low.

“There’s even been suggestions that we, the trainers in the corner, instructed him to inflict damage by hitting below the belt,” Bashir told SecondsOut.com. “No, we would never take part in something like that there. We would never take part in an action that would cripple or debilitate any kind of boxer. You can just eliminate that.

“We didn’t instruct Daniel Dubois to punch Oleksandr Usyk low. We wouldn’t do that. We trained him to strike the body. Anything above the waist. Again, I don’t know what Oleksandr Usyk was feeling. He said the shot hit him low. But from my perspective, I saw the replay of it a number of times and it was directly on the belt. So, again, I don’t know what he felt. Maybe he felt that it was low. He made reference that Daniel was hitting him in the balls. That was a long ways from the balls, where the punch landed.”

Dubois’ promoter, Frank Warren, told reporters afterward that they would file an appeal with the WBA, which presided over the contest, to change the outcome of the fight to a No-Contest.

The 25-year-old Dubois (19-2, 18 KOs) himself has remarked that he feels cheated of a win, which would have made him unified champion.

Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing