Oleksandr Usyk defeated Anthony Joshua by split decision in Jeddah to retain his IBF, WBA, and WBO heavyweight titles.
Both fighters brought renewed intensity to their rivalry, which culminated in a thrilling crescendo during rounds nine and 10 as the action ebbed back and forth. The fight took place 11 months after their first meeting at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, where Usyk gloriously dethroned Joshua.
However, at that point, Usyk’s spectacular abilities had essentially neutralised Joshua’s cunning body approach and created a lead that was acknowledged by margins of 116-112 and 115-113 on two scorecards. Judge Glenn Feldman awarded Joshua the victory with a score of 115–113, resulting in a puzzling split verdict.
Usyk, who had participated in the struggle against the Russian invasion in his country between these two seismic victories against Joshua, sobbed in front of the Ukrainian flag when his victory was declared.
The Ring Magazine belt, which Tyson Fury had until his recent retirement, is now in the 35-year-hands old’s as well. Usyk will now focus on the unbeaten British fighter who still retains the WBC title since he has already established himself as one of the best of the contemporary era.