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SPORTS SHORTS 227: OLEKSANDR USYK SHOCKS ANTHONY JOSHUA, BECOMES HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION FROM BEING UNDISPUTED CRUISERWEIGHT KING


PhilBoxing.com





Oleksandr Usyk, the former undisputed cruiserweight champion scored a shocking unanimous decision victory dethroning Anthony Joshua to become the IBF, WBO, WBA and IBO world heavyweight champion at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, England.

* * *

British judge Howard Foster was the only one who awarded the first round to Joshua, favored seven rounds for Usyk, scored it 115-113. American judge Steve Weisfield had Usyk winning eight of the twelve rounds, had it 116-112. Ukrainian judge Viktor Feschenko awarded the new champion nine rounds, saw it 117-112.

* * *

Former Olympic gold medal winner Usyk, fighting in only his third professional heavyweight match, follows in the footsteps of countrymen Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko, who ruled the division from 2004-2015.

* * *

Estimates put the attendance at more than 67,000 recording the largest crowd for a British fight since the return of spectators during the pandemic, second only to Joshua’s victorious fight against Russian Alexander Povetkin in front of 70,000 people at Wembley Stadium in September 22, 2018.

* * *

On June 31, 2019, Joshua was stopped by American - Mexican Andy Ruiz in the 7th round at the Madison Square Garden, New York City. Joshua regained the heavyweight titles in a convincing unanimous decision win over Ruiz six months later on December 7, 2019 at the Diriyah Arena, Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.

* * *

Usyk joins Evander Holyfield and David Haye as the only boxers to win world titles both at cruiserweight and heavyweight. He has won all of his world title fights on the road.

* * *

Oleksandr Usyk's world title fights:
Date Opponent Country
2021 Anthony Joshua England
2018 Tony Bellew England
2018 Murat Gassiev Russia
2018 Mairis Briedis Latvia
2017 Marco Huck Germany
2017 Michael Hunter USA
2016 Thabiso Mchunu USA
2016 Krzysztof Glowacki Poland

* * *

"I just want to live,” Usyk said afterwards, in the press conference room. “I want to take my kids to school, I want to plant trees, water the apple trees and see my wife more often. I spent three months in training camp, I wish I could spend more time with my wife. I just want to live — I really don't care what the critics say."

* * *

Anthony Joshua is a two-time former unified world heavyweight champion, having held the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO titles from December 2019 to September 2021 when he was defeated by Usyk, and likewise between 2016 and June 2019.

* * *

Anthony Joshua
Real name
Anthony Oluwafemi Olaseni Joshua
Nickname AJ
Height 6 ft 6 in (198 cm)
Reach 82 in (208 cm)
Born in October 15, 1989 (age 31) in Watford, Hertfordshire, England
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record 24-2-0, 22 wins by KO

* * *

As an amateur, Joshua represented England at the 2011 Baku World Championships in the super-heavyweight division, winning a silver medal. He also represented Great Britain at the 2012 London Olympics, winning the gold medal.

* * *

In 2014, just a year after turning professional, he was named Prospect of the Year by The Ring magazine. In 2017, his triumph over Wladimir Klitschko was named Fight of the Year by The Ring and the Boxing Writers Association of America.

* * *

Joshua is the second British boxer, after James DeGale, to win both a gold medal at the Olympics and a world title by a major professional sanctioning body, becoming the first British heavyweight to accomplish it.

* * *

Oleksandr Oleksandrovych Usyk is a world champion in two weight classes, having held the unified WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles since defeating Anthony Joshua in September 2021.

* * *

He became the undisputed cruiserweight champion from 2018 to 2019, becoming the first undisputed cruiserweight titlist to hold all four major world titles belts.

* * *

With his win over Joshua, Usyk became one of only three boxers to unify the cruiserweight world titles and become a world heavyweight champion, joining Evander Holyfield and David Haye. Usyk also became the second boxer, after Holyfield, to unify both cruiserweight and heavyweight titles.

* * *

Oleksandr Usyk
Real name Oleksandr Oleksandrovych Usyk
Nickname The Cat
Height 6 ft 3 in (191 cm)
Reach 78 in (198 cm)
Born in January 17, 1987 (age 34) in Simferopol, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union now Ukraine
Stance Southpaw
Boxing record 19-0-0, 13 wins by KO

* * *

As an amateur, Usyk won gold medals at the 2011 Baku World Championships and 2012 London Olympics, both in the heavyweight division. He turned professional in 2013 and won the undisputed cruiserweight championship in only his 15th professional fight in 2018.

* * *

Three of these titles were grabbed during the first World Boxing Super Series, in which he won the Muhammad Ali Trophy, and also The Ring magazine and lineal cruiserweight titles. For these accolades, Usyk was named the 2018 Fighter of the Year by Sports Illustrated, ESPN, The Ring and the Boxing Writers Association of America.

* * *

In 2018 Usyk became the fourth male boxer in history to simultaneously hold the WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO titles, after Jermain Taylor, Bernard Hopkins and Terence Crawford.

* * *

Compubox Punch Stats
Total punches landed
Joshua 123 of 641(19%)
Usyk 148 of 529 (28%)

* * *

Jabs landed
Joshua 52 of 427 (12%)
Usyk 52 of 309 (17%)

* * *

Power punches landed
Joshua 71 of 214 (33%)
Usyk 96 of 220 (44%)

* * *

Joshua was targeting an undisputed clash with arch rival fellow British Tyson Fury had he won against Usyk, but those plans were aborted by the Usyk victory. Fury is scheduled to face Deontay Wilder for a trilogy on October 9, with the winner supposedly fighting Usyk for the undisputed title fight.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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