The heavyweight division has a new kingpin and his name is Oleksandr Usyk. Usyk went into the backyard of Anthony Joshua and out boxed the heavyweight champion and claimed three belts spoiling the UK super fight between Tyson Fury and Joshua. Usyk will have to contend with the rematch clause in Joshua’s contract should the former champ opt in to it.
Oleksandr Usyk vs. Anthony Joshua Full Recap
The fight between Usyk and Joshua was electric to say the least. A back and forth affair saw the two box masterfully, bang it out, and everything in between. There were several momentum swings in the fight that had fans (myself included) on the edge of their seats. Early on in the fight, Oleksandr Usyk was quick and elusive for the usually flat footed Joshua. Usyk circled and gained the outside foot advantage, finding the customary angles we’ve all come to expect from a Usyk fight.
Joshua clawed his way back into the fight and started to make a momentum shift until the end of round three when Usyk got the best of an exchange and Joshua looked a bit wobbled. Coming into the fourth, Anthony Joshua looked timid, not wanting to make a mistake.
But, Joshua found his rhythm and started coming back. He starts to hold Oleksandr Usyk in round five to close the cardio gap. Usyk gets on the back foot with Joshua walking him down doing good body work. Joshua lands a huge left as Usyk looked to be heading to disaster from the heavyweight champ. But it wouldn’t last.
In round seven, the southpaw versus orthodox matchup came to a head. Joshua threw a left jab and Usyk slipped it and came over the top with a left hook that seemed to hurt Joshua. Another left from Usyk and Joshua stumbled back and it seemed Usyk was on the way to a finish with the volume he was pouring on Usyk. But the fight had much to go.
Joshua came back in round eight benefitting from Usyk’s patience. He started coming forward and going to the body. In the ninth, Joshua started leaning on Usyk and grabbed the back of the head looking for an uppercut which fortunately missed. The ref warned him about the illegal grab.
Towards the 10th, Usyk would come out looking like the quicker and fresher fighter but Joshua would finish strong. With the fight going into the championship rounds, it seemed like it could be anyone’s fight.
In round 11, Usyk clipped Joshua on an exchange again. Usyk continues to look faster and the better boxer. Usyk ended round 11 strong going into the final round.
The 12th round was the best of the fight, by far. Joshua had a big counter right that hurt Oleksandr Usyk. But, Usyk, instead of backing off, brought the fight to Joshua. Joshua started to push forward but ran into sheer volume from Usyk which he couldn’t deal with. Usyk catches Joshua with a cross and Joshua backs up looking hurt again. Usyk hurt Joshua with a lead hook over the top and stunned Joshua again and poured it on with Joshua against the fence. Joshua would survive the round.
In the end, many thought that there was no way Usyk would win a decision due to the shadiness in UK boxing. But, Usyk is no stranger to winning in someone’s home country and managed to do enough to convince the judges he’s won. Now, fans will have to wait to see if Joshua would exercise his rematch clause.
But, the fight with Tyson Fury, should he beat Deontay Wilder in two weeks, is the real fight. But, the way boxing works, there will be a rematch. And that won’t be all bad. The fight was a fight of the year. Fans will not be mistreated should they be forced to sit through Usyk-Joshua 2 before a unification bout.
Oleksandr Usyk x Anthony Joshua Twitter Reactions
Let’s run that one back. #usykjoshua
— Blaine Henry | Fight Library (@BlaineHenryTFL) September 25, 2021
🌍👑 Oleksandr Usyk has beaten:
🇵🇱 Krzysztof Glowacki in Poland
🇺🇸 Michael Hunter in America
🇩🇪 Marco Huck in Germany
🇱🇻 Mairis Briedis in Latvia
🇷🇺 Murat Gassiev in Russia
🇬🇧 Tony Bellew in the UK
🇬🇧 Dereck Chisora in the UK
🇬🇧 Anthony Joshua in the UK pic.twitter.com/icO3h9H4cM
— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) September 25, 2021
Congrats to Usyk. He has earned his shot at Jake Paul.
— Dovy🔌 (@DovySimuMMA) September 25, 2021
— Dan Rafael (@DanRafael1) September 25, 2021
Congratulations to Usyk, he did what I had predicted he would, winning the Heavyweight Title as Holyfield did after being Cruiser Wt. Champion. And also Congratulations to the judges, you didn’t screw it up! #JoshuaUsyk #joshuavsusyk
— Teddy Atlas (@TeddyAtlasReal) September 25, 2021
Your friendly neighborhood fight fan. I watch way too many fights and my wife lets me know it. Also, Cowboy Cerrone is the GOAT.