Usyk defeats Fury to become undisputed heavyweight champion

Usyk defeats Fury to become undisputed heavyweight champion

Oleksandr Usyk has become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world after defeating British boxing star Tyson Fury in a fight earlier today, May 19. 

The Ukrainian won on a split decision following the match in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Usyk (22-0) added Fury’s WBC title to his own WBA, IBF and IBO belts with a spectacular late rally highlighted by a ninth-round knockdown in a back-and-forth bout between two previously unbeaten heavyweight champs. Two judges favored Usyk, 115-112 and 114-113, while the third gave it to Fury, 114-113.

Usyk started quickly, but then had to survive while the confident, charismatic Fury dominated the middle rounds. Usyk rallied in the final rounds, just as the Ukrainian Olympic gold medalist has done so many times in his career, taking control with a dominant eighth and nearly stopping Fury in the ninth.

Usyk hurt Fury (34-1-1) with a left hand and eventually sent him sprawling into a corner in the final seconds of the round, getting credit for a knockdown right before Fury was saved by the bell. Fury made it to the 10th, but he struggled to mount a consistent attack after nearly getting stopped.

Fury disputed his loss after the match, saying: 

“I believe I won that fight. I think he won a few rounds but I won the majority of them. His country is at war, so people are siding with the country at war. Make no mistake, I won that fight in my opinion.”

In response Usyk said he was “ready for rematch,” but later added: “I don’t think about rematch now, I want to rest.”

The 37-year-old Usyk is the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis held the honor for five months in 1999 and 2000. He is also now the lineal heavyweight champion by beating Fury, who beat Wladimir Klitschko to earn that distinction in 2015.

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Idowu Babalola

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