Breaking News: Drama As Usyk Defeats Joshua To Retain WBA Titles
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By Amaechi Agbo and Agency Report
British boxer, Anthony Joshua’s bid to recapture the unified heavyweight titles ended in disappointment as Oleksandr Usyk produced a terrific performance to win by split decision in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Saturday night.
In a clash billed as the Rage on the Red Sea, a spirited Joshua, 32, showed some aggressiveness and intent – a vast improvement from their first fight – but could not match the brilliance and ring savviness of the Ukrainian.
Two judges scored the fight 115-113 and 116-112 to Usyk, while a third judge gave it 115-113 to the challenger. While there were some close rounds, Usyk was the deserved winner
There’s a moment of drama as the scores are read out, with Joshua awarded a 115-113 decision by the first judge as the Ukrainian retained his IBF, IBO, WBA titles.
However, Usyk is awarded it 115-113 and 116-112 by the other two judges, and the Ukrainian retains his titles.
There was a very bizarre end after the verdicts had been announced with Anthony Joshua grabbing the microphone first, before the winner Oleksandr Usyk got to speak. Joshua had also nearly left the arena before returning to the ring.
He however returned to the ring, and grabbed the microphone to make his post bout speech.
“I’m a new breed of heavyweight. I’m not a 12 round fighter, look at me, I’m a new breed of heavyweights, Mike Tyson, Sonny Liston, Jack Dempsey, ‘you don’t throw combinations like Rocky Marciano’, I’m 18 stone, I’m heavy, it’s hard work. This guy here is a phenomenal talent, we’re going to cheer for him three times.”
“If you knew my story you would understand the passion. I ain’t no amateur boxer from five-years-old that was an elite prospect from youth. I was going to jail, I got bail and I started training my arse off, I wanted to be able to fight.
“I’m stealing this Usyk I’m sorry, but it’s because of the passion we put into this. This guy to beat me tonight, maybe I could have done better, but it shows the level of hard work I put in so please give him a round of applause as our heavyweight champion of the world.”
After Anthony Joshua’s impassioned speech, Oleksandr Usyk finally got his chance to react to retaining his titles.
He paid tribute to the Ukrainian military, and says that he is only interested in fighting WBC champion Tyson Fury next.
Usyk said: “I did this victory for my country, for all people, militaries who are defending the country. Thank you very, very much.
“This is already historic. Many generations are going to watch this fight, especially the round when someone tried to beat me hard, but I withstood it and turned it in a different way.
“I’m sure that Tyson Fury is not retired yet. I’m sure, I’m convinced he wants to fight me. I want to fight him and if I’m not fighting Tyson Fury, I’m not fighting at all.”