WorldOleksandr Usyk defeats Anthony Joshua in dramatic rematch to retain heavyweight titles

Oleksandr Usyk defeats Anthony Joshua in dramatic rematch to retain heavyweight titles

The 35-year-old Ukrainian proved unbeatable in the course of the 12-round contest, sustaining his steely nerve to dominate Joshua with a collection of heavy blows. Joshua appeared to interrupt Usyk’s momentum within the ninth spherical and landed a spell of punches on his opponent, earlier than retreating into defeat.

He was awarded a rating of 115-113 from one choose, however Usyk in the end emerged the stronger contender and earned scores of 115-113 and 116-112 from two judges to retain his WBA (Tremendous), IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles.

In the meantime, Ramla Ali gained her contest towards Crystal Garcia Nova of the Dominican Republic in Saudi Arabia’s first ever feminine boxing match.

The 32-year-old Ali gained in a first-round knockout, enhancing her profession file to 7-0.

Feelings run excessive

The heavyweight title rematch was billed because the “Rage on the Pink Sea,” a headline that definitely captured the temper of the evening.

After struggling his second consecutive loss towards Usyk, the 32-year-old Briton picked up two of the Ukrainian’s belts, threw them out of the ring and charged in the direction of his dressing room, earlier than returning and taking the microphone to offer an impassioned speech.

“In the event you knew my story, you’ll perceive the eagerness,” Joshua mentioned, including of Usyk: “I am telling you this man to beat me tonight, possibly I may have performed higher, however it reveals the degrees of arduous work he will need to have put in so please give him a spherical of applause as our heavyweight champion of the world.”

Oleksandr Usyk (right) paid tribute to Ukraine after his victory, thanking those who are "defending the country."
Usyk claimed victory towards the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a battle that he’s personally invested in.

Earlier this yr the 35-year-old traveled again to his homeland and joined the territorial protection battalion in Kyiv to assist out within the conflict efforts.

In March, Usyk obtained permission to return to coaching and put together for his battle towards Joshua, though he expressed reluctance on the time.
“I dedicate this victory to my nation, to my household, to my staff, to all of the folks, militaries who’re defending the nation,” Usyk said through a translator after the battle. “Thanks very, very a lot.

“That is already historical past,” he added. “Many generations are going to observe this battle, particularly the spherical when somebody tried to beat me arduous. However I (withstood) it and turned it another way.”

Usyk additionally made clear his need to problem Tyson Fury, only one week after the WBC heavyweight champion mentioned he is able to “walk away” from boxing.

“I am certain that Tyson Fury will not be retired but. I am certain, I am satisfied he desires to battle me. I need to battle him,” Usyk mentioned. “If I am not combating Tyson Fury, I am not combating in any respect.”

‘I used to be mad at myself’

Joshua broke down into tears throughout his post-match press convention, saying that he was “upset” by his efficiency on Saturday.

“It is actually, actually arduous for me to say I am happy with myself,” he mentioned. “I am upset, actually, deep down in my coronary heart.”

He additionally defined his emotional outburst after the match, including: “Once you try to do issues out of your coronary heart, not everybody goes to grasp. It was simply from the guts. I knew I used to be mad at myself. Not at anybody, simply myself. I used to be like I received to get out right here as a result of I am mad.

“Once you’re indignant you would possibly do silly issues, so I used to be mad. However then I noticed that is sport, let me do the proper factor.”

Forward of the rematch, fellow British boxers Carl Froch and Kell Brook mentioned {that a} second defeat to Usyk would spell the top of Joshua’s boxing profession.

Regardless of the rumors, the 32-year-old confirmed no indicators of hanging up his gloves simply but.

“I am a fighter for all times. The starvation by no means dies,” he mentioned.

CNN’s Ben Morse contributed reporting to this story.

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