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Oleksandr Usyk defeated Tyson Fury.  Ukrainian became the absolute world heavyweight boxing champion

Oleksandr Usyk defeated Tyson Fury. Ukrainian became the absolute world heavyweight boxing champion

Usyk agrees to an immediate rematch after defeating Fury

Ukrainian heavyweight boxer Alexander Usik defeated Briton Tyson Fury on points in the title fight, which took place on the night of May 19 in the capital of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh. According to the contract, they have to fight one more time, and the Ukrainian has already verbally agreed to an immediate rematch.

Thanks to the victory, 37-year-old Usik took the World Boxing Council (WBC) championship belt from Fury, retained his titles according to the World Boxing Association (WBA), the World Boxing Organization (WBO) and the International Boxing Federation (IBF), and thus became absolute world heavyweight boxing champion. There hasn’t been an absolute champion in this weight category since Briton Lennox Lewis, who unified all the belts in November 1999. The Ukrainian heavyweight also remains undefeated: he won all 22 out of 22 fights in the professional ring.

“I’ve been planning this since 2008. Victory is not for me, but for my God, my fans, country, mother, father and children. I want to go home, rest, eat, sleep and kiss my wife,” Usyk said after the fight.

Fury, who suffered the first defeat of his professional career, did not agree with the outcome and hinted at the bias of the judges due to the nationality of his opponent.

We both had a good fight. But they sided with his country. Make no mistake, I won this fight

Tyson FuryBritish boxer

The now former 35-year-old world champion recalled that he must once again enter the ring with Usik. The second fight is guaranteed by contract and is expected to take place on the night of October 13 this year.

Usyk won by split decision. Fury was knocked down in the ninth round

The fight was not easy for the Ukrainian. Usik was more active, shook his opponent several times and turned out to be better in the first three rounds (all three judges scored the same after three rounds – 29-28 in favor of the Ukrainian). Fury started as number two and was more passive in the opening three minutes, but in his usual manner he mimicked his opponent and flirted with the audience. In the fourth round, the Briton seized the initiative, and in one of the episodes the boxers collided heads, which caused Usik to have a small cut in the area of ​​his right eyebrow.

Alexander Usyk and Tyson Fury

Photo: Andrew Caulridge/Reuters

Although Usyk did not slow down in activity, in the middle of the fight Fury began to act more convincingly and delivered several accurate uppercuts to his opponent. In the sixth round, as a result of one of these blows, the Ukrainian was shocked, but survived. A similar picture was observed in the seventh round. By the eighth round, Usik had recovered and won on points. About a minute before the end of the ninth, Fury missed a heavy left hand, after which the Ukrainian hit the head several more times and was ready to knock out his opponent. The Briton staggered and fell on the ropes, which is considered a knockdown. The referee started the count, but the round ran out almost immediately, saving Fury. In rounds 10 and 11, Usyk was also better, and Fury began to react more slowly to his opponent’s actions and could no longer “catch” him with an uppercut. In the final 12 round, the British boxer had a slight advantage, which did not affect the outcome of the fight.

112:115, 114:113, 113:114

Judging notes for the Fury-Usyk fight

Usyk won by split decision. Two of them awarded him the win and one thought Fury was better. The ninth round, in which the Briton was knocked down, the judges unanimously gave it to Usik with a score of 8-10. In fact, this knockdown actually ensured the victory for the Ukrainian – without it it would have been a draw.

The fight took place in Saudi Arabia. Cristiano Ronaldo sat in the front row

The boxing evening held in Riyadh attracted the attention of world sports stars and other famous personalities. Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, who plays for the Saudi club Al-Nasr, came to watch the fight live. He watched from the front row, side by side with British former world boxing champion Anthony Joshua, who may face the winner of the rematch. The historic fight was attended by Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield, who competed for the title of absolute champion almost 25 years ago, as well as many other boxing legends. American Ryan Garcia, who has a multi-million audience on social networks and is considered one of the most popular boxers of our time, was rooting for Fury. Former boxer Vladimir Klitschko, President of the Ukrainian Football Association and Golden Ball winner Andrei Shevchenko and Hollywood actor, grandson of Ukrainian migrants Liev Schreiber, came to support Usik. In addition, the popular singer and blogger Abdurozik was at the boxing evening.

Alexander Usik

Alexander Usik

Photo: Andrew Caulridge/Reuters

The large-scale event even attracted the attention of the Vatican: Pope Francis personally blessed the special championship belt prepared by the WBC for the main fight. Rapper Drake, who is known for betting large sums on popular sporting events and regularly losing, also did not stand aside. This time, the multiple Grammy winner bet on Fury to win and lost more than 500 thousand dollars.

Usyk and Fury will earn tens of millions of dollars

The guaranteed fees of the Ukrainian and the British will be eight and 20 million dollars, respectively. The boxers will receive the main income from sales of paid broadcasts, the proceeds from which will be divided in a ratio of 65 to 35 percent in favor of Fury. According to estimates from various sources, the British ex-champion could ultimately earn about $115 million, Usyk – about $60 million.

Turki Al ash-Sheikh, chairman of the General Entertainment Authority of Saudi Arabia, admired the main fight of the evening. “Fight of the century. Without a doubt. This night will go down in Riyadh history,” the Saudi official wrote, adding that he was looking forward to revenge. The kingdom is serious about continuing to invest a lot of money in boxing: in addition to the second fight between Usik and Fury, the Saudis want to organize a whole series of fights with the participation of the leading boxers of our time.

Source: Lenta

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