Oleksandr Usyk put his WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight world titles on the line in a rematch against former champion Anthony Joshua on Saturday.
They first met in September 2021, when Usyk captured the titles in a unanimous decision victory over the former champion at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. Prior to that fight, Joshua had been the heavy favorite to face another English boxer in Tyson Fury for a chance to unify all four world heavyweight championships.
After his victory in their initial bout, the Ukrainian-born Usyk was vocal about his prowess.
“The fight went exactly the way I expected it to go,” he said. “There was times when Anthony pushed me hard but nothing special. I had no objective to knock him out. My corner pushed me not to do that. You didn’t see the best Usyk. I can be much better.”
This time around, at the Jeddah Superdome in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Usyk had his way with Joshua once again. He retained all of his belts by earning a victory via split decision. His successful title defense earned him a shout-out from Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion Conor McGregor took note of Usyk’s boxing skills after the fight.
Usyk’s win quickly made the rounds on social media with boxer Devin Haney, Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl Anthony-Towns and more chiming in on the action.
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