Oleksandr Usyk, the undefeated Ukrainian heavyweight champion, outclassed Anthony Joshua by unanimous decision to win his first world title on Saturday night.
Oleksandr Usyk beat Anthony Joshua by a unanimous decision. The Ukrainian challenger outclassed the Briton with his superior speed and power.
Usyk seemed to be the aggressor more frequently than Joshua.
After dethroning Anthony Joshua with an amazing performance in London, Oleksandr Usyk became the new unified heavyweight world champion.
In front of 65,000 spectators at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the Ukrainian put on a masterpiece, outclassing Joshua throughout 12 rounds and injuring the reigning champion on several occasions.
The scorecards were all in Usyk’s favor – 117-112, 116-112, 115-113 – and Joshua just shrugged as the second loss of his professional career was confirmed.
Following the failure of a bout with fellow Briton Tyson Fury last summer, Joshua chose to fight Usyk, his WBO mandatory challenger and former undisputed cruiserweight champion.
The fight looked to be easier for Joshua, but the challenger’s really outstanding performance spoiled boxing’s triumphal return to stadium evenings for the home fans.
Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, told Radio 5 Live that his boxer may have fractured his eye socket and will need to go to the hospital.
“I’m not sure whether he’s fractured his eye socket, but it doesn’t seem to be good,” he added. “After the ninth round, he claimed he couldn’t see, and he was clearly getting tagged a lot.”
A shattered After the verdict, Joshua exited the ring, but subsequently wrote a brief statement on Twitter,external-link saying: “Keep a positive attitude even if the world is collapsing around you! London, I adore you and thank you for everything!”
One-gear Usyk vs. Usyk pure class Joshua
As he entered the ring, Joshua looked comfortable and jovial, but his face was carved with concentration from the first bell.
Usyk’s skills were immediately evident, with the 34-year-old full of feints and speed from the start, pushing Joshua about the ring at whim while the reigning champion fell into a rather passive position.
In the early rounds, Joshua fired a few warning shots that Usyk either caught with a glove or spun away from. Usyk would make Joshua miss and implement his own gameplan, which would become the trend of the fight.
In the third round, Usyk frightened Joshua with a left cross that elicited a loud reaction from the fans.
Joshua rode the danger, failing to react, but safely arriving at the bell. Usyk was overflowing with self-assurance, and the London audience attempted in vain to jolt him awake.
Usyk complained after a low shot from Joshua, so Joshua fired another, possibly detecting a vulnerability in his opponent. Round five was Joshua’s finest to that time, but Usyk remained in command, and the Briton’s efforts to hit any significant shots continued to fail.
Finally, Joshua connected with his right hand in the sixth round, prompting Usyk to expand his stance and look ready to trade. Joshua took a step back, fearful of a firefight.
Joshua’s concerns were realized in the seventh round, when Usyk stunned him with a left hook to the chin that sent him staggering backwards. Joshua remained on his feet and survived the round, but he was now in a dangerous situation.
On the scorecards, Usyk was comfortably ahead, and Joshua was unable to narrow the distance. The massive weight advantage was absent, with Usyk maintaining the fight at a distance and Joshua’s corner’s urgings to go forward falling on deaf ears.
In the ninth round, Joshua momentarily had Usyk on the ropes, but he returned to his corner with a bloodied nose after taking a powerful blow to the face in the last seconds of the round.
In the 11th round, both guys had blood on their faces. Joshua’s right eye was wounded and swollen, while Usyk’s left eye was gashed. But, in the final round, although Usyk’s jaw was open, he was by much the busier fighter, outclassing Joshua with ease once again.
The reigning champion, who required a knockout in the last round, was frantically trying to get inspired by the fans. But it was the challenger who came close to landing the knockout blow, driving Joshua to the ropes.
The bell rescued Joshua from another knockout loss, and Usyk’s camp awaited the scorecards with bated breath.
There were no further surprises, as all three judges awarded the fight to the challenger, ending Joshua’s brief tenure as world champion after just one fight.
Joshua left at a fork in the road.
It’s unknown where Joshua’s journey will take him next. A rematch clause exists, which the two-time world champion is expected to utilize.
He has already suffered two defeats, both of which came at the hands of a smaller opponent. Usyk didn’t land the knockout blow, but he did highlight Joshua’s flaws and limited offensive arsenal.
Joshua had no response for Usyk, and the champion looked to be dragging his feet through muck as his opponent flew around the ring. There was no effort to intimidate Usyk, wear him down, or drag him to the ground.
Joshua’s performance was odd, almost haphazard, and it has shattered his reputation as a heavyweight legend.
Joshua vs. Fury currently seems to be dead, apart from the Briton’s long-term professional possibilities.
After the unification match failed last summer, Fury will face Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas next month, and every fight fan’s worst nightmare has come true.
To begin, Joshua must defeat Usyk in a rematch, which, after Saturday night’s fight, seems to be a near-impossible task.
‘AJ showed too much deference to Usyk.’
Joshua’s manager, Eddie Hearn, said that his boxer had shown too much deference to Usyk and that he would have to make “major adjustments” in order to reclaim his belts.
Hearn told Radio 5 Live, “We knew it [loss] might happen if he didn’t get it right, and he didn’t get it right.” “He missed too many shots early, and Usyk was more aggressive than I expected, and he deserved to win.”
“Tony Bellew was correct when he said that overthinking may be exhausting. It’s as if you’ve been captivated by Usyk for the last three or four days, and you end up giving him too much respect, which becomes a problem.”
Joshua was already planning how to defeat Usyk the following time, according to Hearn.
“He’ll be gone for a while, and all he’ll be thinking about is Oleksandr Usyk. ‘How can I beat him, how can I improve?’ he’ll be wondering. He is a perfectionist who is always striving to improve “Hearn said.
“I simply think Anthony Joshua is capable of so much more in that fight, but he’ll have to do a lot more in the rematch to win.”
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