Phenomenal Usyk: Ukrainian outboxed Joshua outright
Ukrainian boxer Alexander Usyk on Sunday night Moscow time at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium in London won a landslide victory over Anthony Joshua and won the previously owned WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO heavyweight belts.
For 34-year-old Usik, this victory became the 19th in the professional ring (13th – by knockout). The Ukrainian became the undisputed world champion in the first heavyweight division and only in 2019 began to play in the elite division. During this time, the 2012 Olympic champion defeated the little-known American Chazz Witherspoon and the Briton Derek Chisora, who lost to all top boxers in his career. Moreover, in a duel with the latter, Usyk had many problems, which gave rise to discussions about the premature of a meeting with such a boxer as Joshua.
Another factor for the skeptical forecast was the colossal difference in anthropometry: Joshua is eight cm taller and 8.5 kg heavier, despite the fact that Usyk showed his greatest weight in his career. On the eve of this fight, the forecasts of Russian experts boiled down to the following meaning: “I will root for Usyk, but Joshua is a clear favorite.” In principle, before the fight, it looked more than reasonable.
However, what was happening in the ring did not fully correspond to all forecasts. Usyk took round after round, moving faster and delivering more punches. Joshua’s tactics were completely incomprehensible – due to which he wanted to defeat a smaller, but at the same time mobile opponent. And in the 12th segment of the fight, Joshua was in the balance at least from a knockdown. Separately, it is worth noting that Joshua never adapted to the actions against the left-hander. Usyk was the second in the career of the Briton with a left-sided stance. In 2016, Joshua met with American Charles Martin and knocked out his opponent without any problems, having won the first belt in his career – the IBF.
But it is absolutely impossible to compare the level of Martin and Usik. Returning to Saturday’s meeting, the British boxer could be given only one or two rounds, although one of the judges somehow gave Joshua as much as five three minutes, but this can be attributed to the fact that the fight was taking place in Great Britain. The judges’ notes are as follows – 117-112, 116-112, 115-113 in favor of Usik.
Immediately after the announcement of the decision, Usyk could not hold back his tears, and then danced the hopak. “The victory means a lot to me,” the Ukrainian said. “The fight went exactly as I expected. There were times when Anthony pressed me hard, but nothing special. I had no goal of knocking him out. My angle told me don’t do it. My coach told me to keep doing my job. I’ve been working hard since January. It took me about half a year. I miss my kids. I want to go home. I don’t think about the rematch. You still have not seen a better Usyk. I can be much better. “
For 31-year-old Olympic champion London Joshua, this defeat was the second in his career with 24 wins (22 – by knockout). The Briton suffered his first failure in 2019 from Mexican American Andy Ruiz, but in the next fight he took revenge. It is noteworthy that in the contract and for the fight with Usik, revenge was prescribed only in the event of the defeat of the Briton.
Joshua should also be noted, who found the strength to go to the opponent’s locker room and congratulate him on his victory. The Briton also commented on his speech: “Maintain a positive attitude, even if the world is collapsing before your eyes! London, I love you and thank you every time!”
As for royalties, according to Total Sportal, Usik is guaranteed to receive three million pounds. At the same time, in the case of a sufficient number of sales of paid broadcasts, a Ukrainian can receive another two million pounds as a bonus. According to The Mirror, Joshua will earn 17.5 million euros.