Oleksandr Usyk defeated Anthony Joshua by split decision to retain his WBA, WBO, IBF, and The Ring magazine heavyweight titles during a highly-anticipated rematch in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.
Usyk won on two scorecards, 115-113 and 116-112, while one judge favored Joshua 115-113.
The champion used impressive footwork and head movement to perplex Joshua, who was much more game than in the first fight.
Joshua hit Usyk with a number of body blows throughout the bout and appeared to have the champion in trouble in the ninth round before Usyk answered back in Round 10 and closed out the fight strong.
Usyk threw 712 punches to Joshua’s 492, with 24% of his blows landing. 315 of Usyk’s punches were power punches, with 131 landing.
The two fighters held up the Ukrainian flag together in a moment of solidarity before the decision was announced.
Joshua reacted poorly to the result but then delivered a speech commending his opponent for the victory, as well as his passion for his country and the sport of boxing.
The undefeated Usyk was asked if he’d like to fight WBC champion Tyson Fury in an undisputed heavyweight title bout, even though Fury has said on multiple occasions he’s retired.
“I’m sure Tyson Fury is not retired yet and convinced he wants to fight me, and I want to fight him,” Usyk said. “If I’m not fighting Tyson Fury, I’m not fighting at all.”
Fury responded with a video on social media, calling the Usyk-Joshua match “one of the worst heavyweight title fights I have ever seen,” before adding, “I would annihilate both of them on the same night.”