leksandr Usyk Upsets Anthony Joshua to Upend Heavyweight Boxing Picture.
Joshua, a power-punching 31-year-old from London and one of boxing’s biggest worldwide stars,
was behind on the judges’ scorecards entering the last round of his heavyweight championship defense against Oleksandr Usyk, a smaller, craftier opponent.
He pushed forward when the bell rang.
Usyk, on the other hand, brought the performance to a conclusion.
Usyk, a 34-year-old Ukrainian boxer who is unbeaten, hit left and right early in the fight,
quieting the fans at the sold-out Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.
As the final bell neared, Usyk wobbled Joshua with a left hand,
and a two-handed barrage of blows drove Joshua to the ropes.
Usyk won a unanimous decision in a bout that most experts predicted he would lose.
The judges awarded Usyk victories of 117-112, 116-112, and 115-113.
The result silenced the approximately 70,000 fans in attendance,
the majority of whom cheered Joshua on by singing in unison throughout the early rounds.
But Usyk, a former undisputed cruiserweight champion who stepped up to heavyweight in 2019, wasn’t surprised.
Usyk, who is now 19-0, stated,
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“The fight went exactly as I anticipated it to happen.” “Anthony showed me a number of times, but nothing out of the ordinary.”
Joshua entered the fight with a height advantage — he stood 6-foot-6, compared to Usyk’s 6-foot-3 — and he outweighed the challenger by more than 18 pounds at 240 pounds.
He was also a four-time heavyweight champion, having won titles from the World Boxing Association, World Boxing Organization, International Boxing Federation,
and International Boxing Organization.
But Usyk, a smart southpaw, came out on top with better footwork,
winning the first three rounds by locating the best angles and then hitting punches: In Round 1, a straight left drew Joshua’s attention; in Round 3, left to the head crumpled Joshua’s knees.
Usyk said that his early success encouraged him to put additional pressure on himself, but he recalled his strategy.
“I struck him hard at first and attempted to knock him out,” Usyk added.
“But then my trainers told me to stop and perform my job,” she says.
Midway through the fight, Joshua won rounds by focusing on his jab and body hitting, reducing his power to improve his accuracy, and wearing Usyk down.
Usyk had red markings beneath each eye and depression in his right brow by the tenth.
Joshua’s right eye had swelled as well, giving him a more vulnerable target for Usyk’s overhand lefts.
and his supporters presented the bout as a celebration leading up to it,
calling it the first stadium show and most-attended boxing event in England since the coronavirus epidemic started.
They portrayed it as a formality as well.
Joshua only fought Usyk because the World Boxing Organization required it,
and Joshua and his Matchroom Boxing promoters publicly discussed matching with the winner of the Oct. 9 fight between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder.
It would have been more financially viable to stage a heavyweight megafight.
Joshua has a large following. His Instagram account has 12.9 million followers,
and his title-winning victory against Vladimir Klitschko in April 2017 attracted 90,000 fans to London’s Wembley Stadium.
Instead, Usyk and Joshua showed once again how fast the heavyweight division can alter.
Hearn and Fury both stated in mid-May that they had reached an agreement for a championship unification fight between Fury and Joshua in Saudi Arabia in the summer.
But, only days after the agreement was made public, an arbitrator in the United States ordered Fury to face Wilder,
who had filed a lawsuit to enforce his rematch rights after losing to Fury in February 2020.
That legal decision derailed Joshua-Fury, resulting in Joshua’s fight with Usyk,
which resulted in an upset that has promoters rethinking their strategies.
Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, stated shortly after the fight that the now-former champion will most certainly use his contractual right to an instant rematch.
Hearn said, “For me, he’ll go right into the rematch.” “However, he’ll have to offer something unique.”
Usyk, on the other hand,
told an in-ring interviewer that he hadn’t seen his children in months and that he needed to spend time with them.
He stated, “I’m not thinking about the rematch right now.”
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