Oleksandr Usyk handed Anthony Joshua his second professional loss and collected his three heavyweight title belts — WBA, WBO and IBF. See what it means for both boxers.
In a unanimous decision, with scores 117-112, 116-112, 115-113, Usyk was declared winner in his bout against Nigerian-born boxing champion Joshua.
What does the result mean for Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk? While for AJ, it’s his second loss in 25 fights, it takes the Ukrainian boxer’s tally to 19-0. In addition, the loss means that Oleksandr Usyk now holds the heavyweight title belts — WBA, WBO and IBF. Also, according to USA Today, he is in a possible position to face the winner of the Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder fight on 9 October 2021.
But before that happens, he will have to get back in the ring with Joshua, who will more than likely trigger the rematch clause. Speaking with Sky Sports, promoter Eddie Hearn said AJ will want a rematch.
“It’s going to be really difficult because Usyk’s confidence will be sky-high, but when you get to the level of Anthony Joshua, as we saw after the Ruiz defeat, there’s no 10-round comeback fights and warm-ups,” he said. “It’s straight back into the fire, and he will want to go straight back into that rematch. He will be an underdog in the rematch this time after that tonight, but that’s what he does.”
In its post-match report, ESPN acknowledged that while none of the boxers hit the canvas, Oleksandr Usyk went toe-to-toe with Anthony Joshua and had him ‘rattled a number of times throughout the fight’.
Praises have come in torrents for the 34-year-old, who is also nicknamed ‘The Cat’ for his slick movements, agility and strong jabs.
Meanwhile, fans of the UK-based boxer have also been sending him encouraging messages online, which he had likely seen because barely hours after the fight, he was at his eloquent best again when he tweeted:
“Keep positive even if the world’s crumbling in front of you! London I love you & thank you each and every time!”
You may also like our recent article, Stranger Things season 4 trailer, release date, and more.