Oleksandr Usyk defeats Anthony Joshua to claim world heavyweight title

  • Ukrainian wins unanimous points decision after gruelling fight
  • Joshua outclassed in front of estimated 67,000 crowd in London

Oleksandr Usyk is the new WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion of the world after, in a riveting display of skill and nerve, he outpointed Anthony Joshua to win a clear and unanimous decision. His commanding victory was not a shock because the unbeaten Ukrainian is a former undisputed world cruiserweight champion and, before the fight, there was widespread consensus among boxing’s cognoscenti that Usyk is a much more natural and gifted fighter than Joshua.

The supremely confident new champion showcased his enviable ringcraft throughout the fight and, long before the end, Joshua looked dispirited and a little lost. The outgoing champion’s huge physical advantages over Usyk mattered little on a night when intelligence and skill trumped brute force. In the end it was Joshua who was being pummelled on the ropes and looking close to being stopped. He stuck out his tongue at Usyk but it was a forlorn gesture of defiance. Usyk simply poured on more pressure before the final bell confirmed his victory.

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