Sometimes means trumps all the pieces else.
Oleksandr Usyk proved that on a surprising Saturday evening at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, the place he outboxed hometown favourite Anthony Joshua to win a unanimous determination and three of the 4 acknowledged heavyweight titles.
Thus, Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) turns into the third former cruiserweight champion to win a serious heavyweight belt, after Evander Holyfield and David Haye.
Joshua could have an opportunity to change into a three-time champion: A rematch clause within the contract signed by each fighters ensures Joshua one other shot on the new champion. And he nearly definitely will take it.
The query is whether or not something would change in a second battle, as Usyk was clearly the higher man.
Joshua and fellow titleholder Tyson Fury had agreed to battle each other in an enormous all-British showdown on Aug. 14 in Saudi Arabia however Fury was compelled by an arbitrator in May to honor a rematch clause for his second battle with Deontay Wilder.
That opened the door for Usyk to battle Joshua, who entered as a couple of 2½-1 favourite partially due to his measurement benefit. The 6-foot-6, 240-pounder is a pure heavyweight, Usyk, 221¼ for this battle, isn’t.
That didn’t matter as 70,000 regarded on Saturday, as Usyk boxed brilliantly from the outset.
The 6-foot-3 Ukrainian frequently moved aspect to aspect — not away from Joshua — and bobbed his head, which made him an elusive goal for the champion. At the identical time, he planted his toes sufficient to land onerous, straight left fingers all through the battle.
Usyk appeared to sting Joshua with the punch a number of instances within the first a number of rounds, which raised the specter of an early knockout, however he shortly realized that wasn’t his path to victory.
“I had no objective to knock him out,” he mentioned by way of a translator after the battle. “My corner pushed me not to do that. In the beginning I hit him hard and tried to knock him out. Then my brain said, ‘Just stop and do your job.’”
Joshua, additionally an excellent boxer, appeared to seek out his groove within the center rounds. He was extra lively than Usyk and landed his finest energy pictures throughout that interval of the battle, which gave him momentum and good probability to win what grew to become a detailed battle.
However, Usyk, discovering a second wind and combating by way of a lower above his proper eye forehead, managed the final third of the battle.
And he completed with a flurry, battering Joshua – whose proper eye was nearly closed by the tip the battle – within the last 30 seconds to punctuate one of the spectacular performances within the division in current reminiscence.
The judges had Usyk successful 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113. Boxing Junkie scored it 116-112 for the winner, eight rounds to 4.
No one complained concerning the scoring.
“The fight went exactly as I expected it to go,” Usyk mentioned. “There were a couple of moments where Anthony pushed me hard but it was nothing special.”
Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) wasn’t interviewed instantly after the battle however despatched a message to his followers on Twitter, writing, “Keep positive even if the world’s crumbling in front of you! London I love you & thank you each and every time!”
Usyk was requested a couple of doable rematch however he deflected the query.
He has skilled many of the previous 12 months with out realizing till May that he can be combating Joshua. Now he desires to get pleasure from his momentous victory and spend time with these closest to him.
“I’ve been working so hard since January in preparation for this fight,” he mentioned. “It took me half a 12 months [to get it]. I didn’t see my household for thus lengthy. I miss my kids, I miss watching them play. I wish to go residence, spend time with my household. I wish to be with them.
“I’m not thinking about the rematch at the moment.”
That will come quickly sufficient. Joshua will heal from his bodily and emotional wounds, as he did after his knockout loss to Andy Ruiz Jr. in 2019. And then it is going to be time for the second assembly, maybe six months from now.
The winner of that battle most likely will face the winner of the third Fury-Wilder battle, which takes place on Oct. 9. Then, barring unexpected circumstances, boxing will lastly have its undisputed heavyweight champion.
But who would’ve thought the large males would’ve taken us on such a circuitous route?