Oleksandr Usyk defeats Tyson Fury in a split decision, becoming the first undisputed heavyweight champion in 24 years

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Oleksandr Usyk celebrates his win

Oleksandr Usyk has been smaller, lighter, and older than all of his opponents since he moved up to the heavyweight division. Usyk’s determination and skill are huge, and he overcame a significant size difference against Tyson Fury to become the world’s first undisputed heavyweight boxing champion in 24 years.

Usyk defeated Fury by split decision on Sunday, knocking down his much larger opponent in the ninth round and ultimately earning a narrow victory on two scorecards. The 37-year-old Ukrainian is the first heavyweight to hold every major title belt since Lennox Lewis.

Usyk (22-0) added Fury’s WBC title to his own WBA, IBF, and WBO belts with a remarkable late-round surge in a closely contested matchup between two previously undefeated champions from a strong era of heavyweight boxing. Two judges favored Usyk, 115-112 and 114-113, while the third gave it to Fury, 114-113.

“It’s a fantastic moment. It’s a fantastic day,” said Usyk, who is 6 inches shorter than Fury and weighed in 30 pounds lighter this week.

Usyk began the fight strongly but then had to withstand Fury’s dominance in the middle rounds as the confident and charismatic Fury took control.

Usyk rallied in the final rounds, as he has done numerous times in his career, seizing control with a dominant eighth round and coming close to stopping Fury in the ninth.

Tyson Fury fights with Oleksandr Usyk

Usyk landed a powerful left hand that hurt the 6-foot-9 Fury (34-1-1) and knocked him down just before the bell rang to end the round.

After nearly being stopped, Fury struggled to launch a consistent attack, and the knockdown proved to be the crucial moment in the fight’s outcome.

“I’m deeply grateful to my team,” Usyk said with emotion in the ring. “This is a significant opportunity for me, my family, and my country. Slava Ukraini!”

After the final bell, Fury kissed Usyk on the head, and Usyk hugged Fury moments after the decision was announced. Fury also expressed his desire for a rematch in October.

“I believe I won that fight,” Fury stated. “While he won a few rounds, I dominated most of them. It’s one of those decisions in boxing. We both fought well, given the circumstances.”

“His country is in conflict, so people may be leaning towards supporting a nation at war. But make no mistake, I believe I won that fight, and I’ll be ready for a rematch. I have that clause.”

Usyk is now the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis held the title briefly in 1999 and 2000. Additionally, he holds the lineal heavyweight championship by defeating Fury, who earned that recognition by beating Wladimir Klitschko in 2015.

Tyson Fury punches Oleksandr Usyk

After moving up from cruiserweight, Usyk surprised Anthony Joshua to win three title belts in 2021. He kept them through a rematch and another defense while hoping for a big fight against Fury in Saudi Arabia.

According to CompuBox stats, Usyk landed 41% of his 407 punches, while Fury landed only 31.7% of his 496 punches. Usyk threw and landed more power punches too.

Usyk now joins the elite group of fighters who held every major world championship belt at heavyweight, and he’s the first to do it in the era of four belts, which started in 2007.

The list of undisputed champs includes Dempsey, Louis, Patterson, Ali, Frazier, and Tyson. The most recent undisputed heavyweight champ was Lewis, who beat Holyfield in late 1999.

However, he lost a title soon after due to boxing’s territorial disputes that have been ongoing for the last 25 years, often preventing big fights.

Fury and Usyk both wanted this fight, and they finally got it thanks to Saudi Arabia’s involvement, offering huge financial rewards that promoters and sanctioning bodies couldn’t refuse. Fury is reportedly earning over $100 million for the bout.

To attract Western viewership, the fight started at 1:45 a.m. on Sunday at Kingdom Arena.

Oleksandr Usyk celebates after winning the title

Usyk was aggressive right from the start, repeatedly finding openings in his taller opponent’s defense to land body shots. Fury, on the other hand, remained relaxed, even pretending to dodge punches as Usyk moved in.

However, Fury stepped up his attack from the third round onwards, using his size advantage and unpredictable movement to throw powerful right hands behind his jab. He seemed to hurt Usyk with body shots and landed a couple of strong uppercuts in the sixth round.

Despite this, Usyk fought back, causing Fury’s nose and face to bleed with a well-placed left hand. In the ninth round, Usyk landed another powerful left, staggering Fury and dominating him around the ring. Fury was nearly knocked down, but the referee allowed the fight to continue after a standing count, interrupted by the bell.

In another match at Kingdom Arena, Jai Opetaia successfully defended his IBF cruiserweight title with a clear unanimous decision over Mairis Briedis. Anthony Cacace also won the IBF super featherweight title by stopping Joe Cordina in the eighth round.

Earlier in the event, former light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev, aged 41, returned to the ring for only the second time since 2019, suffering a decision loss to Sweden’s Robin Sirwan Safar.


By Brian Anderson

Hi myself Brian, I am a second-year student at Symbiosis Centre of Management Studies, Noida, pursuing a BBA degree. I am a multi-faceted individual with a passion for various hobbies, including cricket, football, music, and sketching. Beyond my hobbies, I possess a keen interest in literature, particularly fictional books, and channels my creativity into content writing. I am constantly exploring the realms of both business administration and the world of imagination through my diverse pursuits.

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