Although, there was more than one televised card this weekend and there was more than one televised card that produced high-action thrilling fights. There was just one card that captured the attention of fight fans everywhere. The biggest prize in professional sports was on the line. The unified heavyweight championship of the world. Unified champ Anthony Joshua defended three of the four belts against WBO mandatory challenger and former undisputed cruiserweight champion, 24-year-old Oleksandr Usyk, of Shypyntsi, Ukraine at the Hotspur in Tottenham, England and Usyk absolutely took the Brit to the task. Dominating the now-former heavyweight champ over 12-rounds to capture all three of AJ’s titles, punched his ticket for the Boxing Hall of Fame, captured our Fighter of the Week award, and moved his record to a perfect 19-0 (13)
After his first heavyweight fight then co-promoter Eddie Hearn said of Usyk, he can beat any heavyweight in the world. So what Usyk did to Joshua may have been a surprise to many, but not a shocker to the promoter. In just his third pro bout Usyk showed no fear of the bigger man going right in after him. Staying aggressive and having great moments early in the fight especially with the straight left hand. One of which rocked the champ in the third round. Usyk appeared to have won the first four rounds, putting Joshua in a major hole, who got going in the Fifth and sixth rallying back boxing beautifully from the outside winning the battle of the jab and scoring with some right hands and got himself back into the fight. However, the Brit’s momentum was short-lived as Usyk came roaring back in the seventh and again rocked Joshua with a straight left. Joshua continued to have some moments in the later rounds with the jab and landing some bodywork. However, it was Usyk who continued to out-hustle and outland his larger for. With the victory well within his sites, Usyk went out and had his most dominant round battering Joshua with a barrage of left hands and power shots to close out the upset. Sending the nearly 70,000k fans at the hotspur disappointed. Taking the unanimous decision 117-112, 116-112, and a way too close 115-113.
The path is clear for the Ukrainian heavyweight champ, at 34, he’s not over the hill yet but he is aging out of his prime in the near future. In a perfect scenario, He has two fights in 2022, the rematch with AJ, and then fights the winner of Wilder-Fury 3. If he can do that, there’s literally nothing else for the Ukraine force to do. He’d have one-upped Evander Holyfield, who was undisputed in both the heavyweight and cruiserweight divisions but did so in the three belt era. Usyk is one win away from accomplishing the feat in the four-belt division. Usyk would be the first man to unify any two divisions in the four-belt era ad he could do so in barely 20 career fights.