WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua was clearly beaten on points and unanimously by the judges (117-112, 116-112, 115-113) at his home in London by the Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk, Saturday. Ridden in 2019 light heavyweight where he was unified world champion, Usyk made speak his technique and his superior vivacity against a Joshua who never really found his rhythm in this fight.
“The fight went exactly as I expected. Sometimes, he pushed me, but never too hard, assured Usyk after the match at the microphone of Sky Sport. My goal was not to knock him out. At first I was hitting hard to try and knock him out, but my trainer told me to stop and just do my job. “
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) September 26, 2021
“AJ” and everyone in boxing see the prospect of a 100% British unification fight fading away against WBC champion Tyson Fury, who is due to face Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas on October 9. Joshua has a clause for a second fight against Usyk to try to get his belts back, as he did in December 2019, after the first loss of his professional career, against Andy Ruiz Jr in June 2019. The Briton’s record is now 24 wins and two losses, while Usyk remains undefeated in 19 fights.
Before planning for a rematch or another challenge, Joshua will have to digest this missed meeting in front of some 60,000 spectators present in the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. After a cautious start to the match, Usyk was the first to try to press his shots in the 3rd round by taking advantage of his greater speed of movement and of arms which earned him the nickname of “Cat”, touching Joshua in the face of a left hook 15 seconds from the bell.
The Ukrainian yet still a novice in the heavyweight
It was not until the 5th round to feel the Briton return to his fight. The Ukrainian, who was only in his third heavyweight fight, after dominating the light-heavyweight category, began to feel more and more of Joshua’s right, losing the 5th and 6th round. He rebelled in the 7th, pushing back on his support Joshua after a wide left hook 40 seconds from the end of the restart.
On the 10th round, both boxers were scarred, Joshua’s right eye closing as blood flowed from a cut above the same eye in his opponent. It felt like it could still tip both ways, but the fresher, more active and more precise Usyk accelerated and won by a large amount the last two rounds, throwing Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in amazement. A habit for the Ukrainian who has made a specialty of going to beat his opponents at home.