Zhan Kossobutskiy, the Kazakh heavyweight, has taken responsibility for his actions during his recent disqualification loss to Efe Ajagba on August 26. In his first U.S. appearance, Kossobutskiy's behavior marred his previously unblemished record, leading to his disqualification in the fourth round against Ajagba.
The fight, televised on ESPN, saw Kossobutskiy (19-1, 18 KOs) deducted two points in the third round and subsequently disqualified by referee Chris Flores at 0:33 of the fourth round. The incident cast a shadow over what could have been a career-defining moment for the Kazakh heavyweight.
In an official statement provided to BoxingScene.com and other outlets, Kossobutskiy expressed regret for his actions and apologized to various entities, including the WBC, American Boxing Authorities, and boxing fans worldwide. He acknowledged that his conduct was not in line with that of a professional boxer and that he let emotions get the best of him.
Kossobutskiy cited repeated low blow shots by his opponent as a trigger for his loss of control, admitting that he acted unprofessionally by attempting to take matters into his own hands. He expressed remorse for his non-sporting behavior and pledged that such actions would not be repeated in the future.
The incident stood out amidst a weekend of heavyweight boxing action. Oleksandr Usyk's successful defense of his WBA, IBF, and WBO heavyweight titles against Daniel Dubois generated debate due to a controversial low blow ruling. Kossobutskiy's disqualification, on the other hand, was met with calls for disciplinary action from many viewers due to the nature of his actions.
Kossobutskiy's apology sheds light on the emotions and frustrations that can arise in the heat of competition, and his commitment to learning from his mistake indicates a desire to grow both as a fighter and as a professional.