Sunday 21 August 2022

Heavyweight Boxing: Usyk Defeats Anthony Joshua In Rematch


Oleksandr Usyk has retained his titles after a split decision victory over Anthony Joshua in their rematch in Saudi Arabia.

The Ukrainian was the better man throughout the contest, with Joshua not getting much of a chance to impose himself just like the first fight last September, with another unanimous decision victory.

Joshua certainly was much closer than the first fight, but Usyk’s quality saw him a level above the challenger for large parts of the contest.

It seemed the general consensus that Usyk dominated, however with one judge favouring the Brit, he’ll have to settle for a split decision victory, but he won’t care. All that matters is he got the win he deserved.

He has added the Ring Magazine belt to his collection as that was put on the line after Tyson Fury vacated the title with the Gypsy King appearing to hang the gloves up for good.

That now means that Usyk holds the unified WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO and Ring Magazine titles, needing just the WBC title to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion for two decades since Lennox Lewis achieved the feat back in 2002.

We still don’t have a definitive answer about the future of the WBC title, whether it will be vacated by Fury or if he’ll decide to make a spectacular return for an undisputed bout with Usyk.

Either way, Usyk has cemented his status as one of, if not the best heavyweight in the world right now, making it back-to-back wins against Joshua.

It was only Usyk’s first defence of his titles, but if he keeps that sort of form up, you’d imagine he’ll successfully defend the belts a fair few times!

In contrast, the result is a disaster for Joshua who couldn’t repeat his feat of bouncing straight back like he did with Andy Ruiz Jr.

Back then, the Brit lost the opening fight, having to give his titles up to Ruiz. He did however trigger his rematch clause, with AJ winning back his crowns the second time round, setting up the first bout with Usyk where he was dethroned again.

Now, AJ has lost three of his last four fights, where does that leave him in the heavyweight division? It certainly damages his reputation as the premium heavyweight and number one challenger for the titles.

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