Defending champion Oleksandr Usyk, on Saturday, defeated British Anthony Joshua to retain his heavyweight belts, WBO, WBA and IBF titles, in King Abdullah Sports City Arena in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
In a 12th round bout, the Ukrainian on a split decision, ‘116-112 and 115-113 respectively won on the cards of Ukraine’s Viktor Fesechko and Britain’s Steve Gray. Glenn Feldman of the USA scored 115-113 for Joshua’.
Infuriated by the outcome of the result, despite the effort put in to reclaim the belts he lost to the undefeated champion in September 2021, Joshua told the crowd he was stealing the belts based on the passion put in to reclaim them.
“I’m stealing this Usyk, I’m sorry, but it’s because of the passion we put into this,” Joshua said after Usyk was declared the winner of the rematch.
“If you knew my story you would understand the passion. I ain’t no amateur boxer from five-years-old that was an elite prospect from youth.
“I was going to jail, I got bail and I started training my arse off, I wanted to be able to fight.
“This guy to beat me tonight, maybe I could have done better, but it shows the level of hard work I put in so please give him a round of applause as our heavyweight champion of the world,” Joshua conceded.
Meanwhile, Usyk has dedicated his victory to the people of Ukraine fighting to defend it from the military invasion of the Russians.
“I did this victory for my country, for all people, militaries who are defending the country. Thank you very, very much,” the heavyweight champion said after the victory.
He added that the outcome of the rematch will transcend generations where they understand how he was able to turn around from being defensive into an offensive approach.
“This is already historic. Many generations are going to watch this fight, especially the round when someone tried to beat me hard, but I withstood it and turned it in a different way,” Usyk said.
The Ukrainian remains undefeated, holding three out of the four heavyweight title belts with Tyson Fury fondly adored as the Gypsy King and ostensibly retired with the fourth WBC title.
Usyk eyes a bout with the undefeated Fury believing the latter will come out of retirement to challenge him to a contest or he fights no one.
“I’m sure that Tyson Fury is not retired yet,” the Ukrainian claimed.
“I’m sure, I’m convinced he wants to fight me.
“I want to fight him and if I’m not fighting Tyson Fury, I’m not fighting at all,” Usyk stated.
Comparatively, Joshua greatly improved in the rematch against Usyk at Jeddah having included extra trainer, Robert Garcia, in his coaching crew to prep him tenaciously for a victory whilst correcting earlier mistakes made in September 2021.
Usyk on the other hand did feel the pressures mounted by the implacable Joshua but was able to rebuff them intermittently.
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