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Oleksandr Usyk beat Anthony Joshua via unanimous decision on Saturday night at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to upset the heavyweight division.
In just his third fight at heavyweight, Usyk showed that he would be the man to beat.
Usyk came into the fight much the underdog, but having reigned as undisputed King of the cruiserweight, he showed he was more than a fit for the top division.
While AJ was the bigger man, size did not much too much of a difference as Usyk marauded forward time and time again to show that his power does indeed carry through from cruiserweight to the top of boxing’s divisions.
The second round was quieter than the first, with Joshua reluctant to waste too much energy early in the fight. Neither man were too busy but again, it was Usyk who arguably landed the cleaner of the blows to body and face.
The third round is where the fight exploded in to life, with Usyk landing a huge left hand that certainly shook and stumbled Joshua. The champion was able to hold on however, with the bell dinging just moments later.
Usyk looked to capitalise quickly on his good work, again making his quick and nimble foot work show. Both fighters landed good blows, with a cut emerging under the right eye of Usyk. The Ukrainian was again the man getting in close, asserting his dominance as he refused to be over awed by the occasion.
While AJ targeted the head constantly through the fight, it was Usyk who did the cleaner work, often combing head and body shots to good effect.
The sixth again saw Joshua grow into the fight, landing big right hands that Usyk was able to eat up, not gladly though. Both men walked back to their corners looking as though they were feeling the pace. Where Joshua was just throwing out his jab before, now he was throwing it with venom and following up well.
After a couple of quiet rounds from Usyk, he absolutely dominated the seventh and could arguably have been awarded it 10-8, some beautiful combination saw him knock back Joshua with a straight left, stumbling his opponent. Joshua managed to survive the round but it was a sign of things to come as his opponent grew and grew in confidence, winning over the crowd one round at a time.
The eighth saw Joshua throw an uppercut, his signature move, for the first time in the fight. While Usyk took it cleanly, it did not stop him coming forward and exchanging blows with Joshua as he dominated once again.
Usyk cruised his way through the 11th, barely taking a punch while pressing forward constantly. He looked as though he could do it all night long. AJ, with massive bruising under his right eye,
Usyk closed the show out in some style, dominating Joshua in the final round with combination punches and footwork that saw all of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium standing on their feet.
Heavyweight boxing has a new King, and his name is Oleksandr Usyk. The rematch will be next as Joshua hopes to avenge defeat for the second time in his career. Based on that performance, it looks unlikely that he will.
A light undercard saw Lawrence Okolie retain his cruiserweight belt in the co-main event of the evening, stopping Dilan Prasovic in the third round with a crisp body shot. Meanwhile, Callum Smith’s devastating second round KO of Lenin Castillo saw the Dominican taken out on a stretcher.
Campbell Hatton gain a controversial points victory over Sonni Martinez, moving him to 4-0 as a professional boxer and Florian Marku won a split decision fight over Maxim Prodan.
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