Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk confirmed his superiority over Britain’s Anthony Joshua by winning the heavyweight boxing world title in three unanimous decisions at the “Battle of the Red Sea” in Jeddah, King Abdullah City over the weekend. Usek won the IBF, WBA and WBO titles by scores of 113-115, 115-113, 116-112.
Usyk, 35, undefeated with 20 wins and 13 KOs, defeated Joshua, 32 (24 wins, 3 losses, 22 KOs), undefeated to claim the belts in London in September.
This time, the giant AJ (1.98m 1.91m) leveled up and attacked from the second round. But it wasn’t enough for his Ukrainian opponent, the bookmaker’s favorite, who only made his fourth fight in this category.
Aleksandr Usyk, who has been stronger in recent rounds in front of 12,000 spectators, dedicated the victory to his countrymen, who have faced a Russian invasion since last February. “I dedicate this victory to my country, my family, my team and everyone. Soldiers defending my country.” The boxer was wearing the colors of the Ukrainian flag and the inscription “Colors of Freedom” on his clothes.
In the days leading up to the battle, Usyk used his heritage to prepare, along with millions of Russia’s war-torn Ukrainians. Dressed in Cossack attire and with a traditional haircut, he enthusiastically sang an old resistance song on the podium in front of the world’s media.
Useki prepared for the fight by cycling 100 kilometers at 45 degrees Celsius, swimming for up to five hours and managing to hold his breath underwater for four minutes and 45 seconds, his manager Aegis Klemas said he nearly passed out.
The fight was streamed exclusively for free as part of a special deal in Ukraine, where Usyk volunteered as a soldier in February before agreeing to a revenge fight.
Fury has not yet retired.
Usyk may now consider a title fight with fellow Brit Tyson Fury, 34 (32 wins, 1 loss) and reigning WBC champion if the latter decides to return to the ring after announcing his retirement again on August 12. “I’m sure Tyson Fury hasn’t retired yet,” confirmed Usich.
After the fight, Joshua, the London 2012 Olympic heavyweight champion, hurled profanity after dropping two belts on Uzeq despite the presence of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and later congratulated Uzeq on his victory.
The words came from the heart – said the Briton – it was difficult… you must be very strong and tonight there was a crack in the armor. His agent Eddie Hearn added: “You saw AJ’s reaction, he was a guy who really wanted to win, with a lot of pressure on his shoulders. I think he blew up because he lost and he was devastated.” Joshua dismissed suggestions that the loss would end his career, but admitted he couldn’t afford a third career loss.
female boxing match
In the evening, the first women’s boxing match took place in Saudi Arabia, which Somali-born Briton Ramla Ali won with a first-round knockout against Dominican Cristal Garcia Nova.
The Saudi kingdom has added the fight to sporting events such as the Formula 1 race it is trying to host to diversify its oil economy, and has been accused by organizations of exploiting it to cover up human rights abuses.
I’m Harold O’Connor and I work as an author and editor for News Unrolled, a news website dedicated to delivering the latest world events. With my in-depth research skills, passion for news writing, and keen eye for detail, I strive to provide readers with accurate information on current affairs from around the globe.