Oleksandr Usyk (20-0 13Kos) has long been considered a top five pound-for-pound fighter and Saturday he may have locked in the number one spot. For the second time, Usyk bested the bigger strong man in Anthony Joshua (24-3 22kos) and showed tremendous heart and skill in doing so. Usyk was given a split decision nod, but it looked more like a clear victory for Usyk although one judge had Joshua edging it.
Joshua implemented a better game plan and through four rounds you could say the cards were even. Joshua fought well and moved his head. He had good bodywork that showed he wanted to slow Usyk down. It was working early as he had success and made the fight close.
Usyk showed his skill and work rate as he started to take over in the middle of the fight. Joshua was still working and pushing forward, but Usyk was doing more work and landing better shots. The early reactions where Joshua seemed to not be bothered by the movement had slowly started to go away and Usyk was starting to get a lead. Usyk landed the sneaky up jab and solid combinations to keep Joshua at bay which seemed to frustrate the plan Joshua had set, but he wouldn’t let his hands go. It seemed like Usyk would cruise to a win and maybe a stoppage, but Joshua showed why he’s dangerous.
In round nine Joshua buzzed and hurt Usyk throughout. He went to the body and landed shots up top Usyk grimaced at some shots. Joshua landed combinations but couldn’t finish off the champion. Usyk responded with the best three rounds he could’ve asked for. The 10th was the perfect comeback round as he moved and feinted while landing thudding counter shots. A couple of times he seemed to stun Joshua and following the round, Usyk took back control and finish the fight in style.
Usyk was awarded the clear win though as stated one judge did give it to Joshua. It was a competitive and good fight, but Usyk was the rightful winner. The question now is what’s next for both. Does Usyk get Tyson Fury for an undisputed title? Joshua where does he go? He will need to come back and build himself back up, but against who and for how long? Joshua still has big fights he can make and a lot of money especially if it comes against Deontay Wilder. For now, the Usyk deserves his flowers he is the best fighter in the world at this moment.