Oleksandr Usyk stuns Tyson Fury to become unified world heavyweight champion | Boxing | Sport

Oleksandr Usyk became the new undisputed heavyweight champion of the world as he saw off the challenge of Tyson Fury via split decision in Riyadh on Saturday night. In one of the biggest and most anticipated fights in modern history, Fury and Usyk delivered an engrossing battle of two contrasting styles - with the Ukrainian emerging triumphant to become the first man to hold all four heavyweight belts.

After making their pyrotechnic-laden ringwalks at 1:30am in the morning local time, Usyk and Fury went at it before a capacity crowd at Kingdom Arena. A cagey first round saw Usyk - displaying a high guard - land several jabs on the body of Fury, whose showmanship shone through when backed into the corner, shimmying and taunting his opponent to the cheers of the crowd.

Usyk opened the second rounding with a crushing blow to the dome of Fury, who backed off and danced around the ring. The Ukrainian landed another, but Fury landed an uppercut in response. Ultimately, the lateral head movement from Usyk made it difficult for his rival to land strikes; the Gypsy King threw more efforts in the opening round, landing several mega hits on the body, but Usyk appeared to land more in the opening exchanges.

Fury started the fourth aggressively, landing powerful body shots against Usyk's impressive defence. The Gypsy King continued to play up to the crowd again when backed in the corner, although he opened up a slight cut above the right eye of Usyk heading into the fifth.

Displaying the impressive speed and work rate usually associated with his game, Usyk - the former undisputed cruiserweight champion - utilised his smaller frame to make Fury work hard throughout. Usyk continued to throw wild overhand strikes as Fury worked the body, even going low to the disgust of the Ukrainian, while he expertly used his reach as the Gypsy King began to find his feet in the contest.

Fury landed a pair of mega uppercuts in the sixth round to wobble Usyk, leading to raucous cheers from the captivated crowd. Usyk began bleeding from his nose as the sharp Fury landed another right-hand in the seventh, only for his opponent to land a clean stern jab to the nose. Usyk landed another huge hit to close the round, but Fury respondded with a swfit strike before the bell sounded.

Usyk appeared to be struggling, with his smaller size meaning that getting to Fury was difficult. But Usyk landed a number of sensational strikes to clinch the eighth round, bloodying Fury and turning the tide before, in round nine, Usyk rocked Fury with a crushing blow that left the Brit dazed and wandering out the ring before he was saved by the bell.

The tenth saw Usyk continue to land hits as Fury simply clung on. Usyk - who landed more punches than any opponent in Fury's career - looked to finish the bout with Fury pinned to the ropes, but the Brit's resilience was admirable as he survived and went the distance.

The judges scorecards reflected the tight fight. The first scored it 115-112 in favour of Usyk, while the second had it 114-113 to Fury. Ultimately, the final scorecard was revealed to be 114-113 for Usyk, who secured the undisputed world heavyweight title with an accomplished display. There is an automatic rematch clause, so this may not be the last time these two fighters share the ring.

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Posted: 2024-05-19 01:45:16

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