New Champ! Oleksandr Usyk Dethrones Anthony Joshua
A fight that lived up to its anticipation, as Unified Heayweight Champ Anthony Joshua was upset Saturday night by Oleksandr Usyk by unanimous decision to crown a new champion in the landscape at heavyweight.
The official scorecards were 117-112, 116-112, 115-113 all in favor of the former Undisputed Cruiserweight Champ, Usyk. Live scoring the fight, I had it 116-112 for Usyk to capture the WBA/IBF and WBO titles in a clear win.
Usyk came into this contest looking to chase the uncommon but common practice of being a cruiserweight champion at heavyweight joining company such, as Evander Holyfield and Michael Spinks, who previously moved up from Light Heavyweight to win the Heavyweight title.
The fight started off quickly as both didn’t look to feel each other out in the onset in the opening round. You can make the case that Usyk, now 19-0, landed the cleaner shots in close and may have won the opening stanza. Was also the same story in the second round, as Usyk, the WBO’s top contender, was able to land some solid shots on the inside leading off his jab. This for sure wasn’t the slow start Usyk many were thougt that there would be the case in this contest.
A straight left from Usyk shook Joshua, now 24-2, had with him on wobbly legs near the end of the third round that also reappeared when Usyk connected early in the fourth. Usyk was having a lot of success making Joshua miss and countering early on in this fight. Joshua had a hard time trying to outbox the southpaw and it shows in the early moments.
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) September 25, 2021
By the sixth round, Joshua was still only throwing what seemed only one shot at a time and Usyk was able to be quicker and more fluid in landing combinations on the outside. Joshua still may have won that sixth-round however as he landed a nice right hook that landed flush on Usyk as the ring bell ended.
Usyk was still able to establish the jab and was in control of the fight including the close of the seventh round. Usyk even had Joshua stunned for a moment as the round ended but partly may have been from the feet getting tangled. Either way, Usyk was outboxing the champion and it wasn’t even close.
This was a real high-level fight that still had Usyk giving all he could handle to Joshua. A cut over the right eye of Usyk formed as it matched one similar to one Joshua had rounds before. Joshua pressed the issue as the championship rounds. but Usyk still was able to break through as he had throughout the fight with straight left hands. Usyk also clearly won the 12 staggering Joshua along the ropes with several rights and lefts to seal it.
Joshua was clearly hurt 2-3 minutes after the fight sitting in his corner wincing. Joshua left the ring without giving the losing interivew.
For his part, the new champ said through an interpreter of the game plan,
“The fight went exactly like I expected it to go…I had no objective to knock him out….I was trying early in the fight, but my trainer said ‘stop and do your job.’ … The only thing I wanted to do in this fight is give praise to my Lord and savior, Jesus Christ. 12 years ago on this day my wife said yes to me (his proposal for marriage).
On the rematch clause for Joshua in the deal, Usyk played it straight,
“I wanna go home. I have not seen my family for months. I want to be with my them. I don’t want to think about a rematch.”
With Usyk’s win over Joshua, it does mean we more than likely will see a rematch of this contest.
Time will tell if that comes into fruition or if his camps eyes the winner of Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder scheduled for two weeks for now.