Boxing

Usyk Shakes Things Up, Bullies Joshua in a Decision Win

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Tottenham Hotspurs fans are used to the same old song and dance, high expectations with diminishing results, and sadly despite Anthony Joshua selling their stadium out, those results didn’t change for them.

Oleksandr Usyk came into Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and gave Joshua the Pep Guardiola treatment with a tactical striking approach, and was able to put him in situations he wasn’t comfortable in. Everyone clamoring for Anthony Joshua vs. Tyson Fury may be a lot quieter now because what we saw Usyk do both physically and gameplan-wise is almost identical to a Fury approach, the only difference being Usyk did so with a six-foot-three frame instead of a six-foot-nine one that Fury possesses.

Oleksandr Usyk Set The Tone Early

After a lengthy walkout from Anthony Joshua and both men were in the ring, Joshua appeared to be happy to be there for the show versus Usyk being in the zone for history. 

Usyk came out and won the first three rounds with a quick jab and counter-punching around what offense Joshua could muster in the beginning. Joshua was attempting to use his length and power to let Usyk know this fight was his big post-COVID parade, but the Ukrainian wouldn’t have any part of it.

Usyk’s size and speed worked to his advantage early on before Joshua was finally able to settle down and focus on the task at hand, using his reach advantage and staying outside of Usyk’s forward attack.

Anthony Joshua Settles in Mid-Fight

After a slow start to the night for him, Joshua was finally able to gain some ground in round four, where he was finding Usyk at the end of his punches.

Anthony Joshua was landing hooks, jabs, and straights with a complete arsenal of attacks on Oleksandr Usyk and taking it to him through round eight. He was able to climb back even in the scorecards, in many fight fans’ eyes, and he was keeping a pace that we were not used to. where he was being aggressive while also patient and not dumping the gas tank in the middle of the fight.

No knockdowns occurred for either man during this back and forth two-thirds of the fight, and somehow that would be the same for the end of the fight, but fireworks would ensue at the end of the fight.

Usyk Eventually Runs Away With It 

Usyk and Joshua would hurt each other nonstop to end this crazy fight that will go down as one of the best in heavyweight championship history. Usyk would start landing hooks and counters inside Joshua’s guard that eventually caused Joshua’s right eye to develop a decent-sized mouse above it, which caused the eye to begin to close.

The scorecards would reflect that Usyk had earned the last three to four rounds with his dominance as they read 117-112, 116-112, and 115-113 all for the Ukrainian. It was a shocker that boxing judges didn’t let the crowd or the hometown discount affect their scoring, a rare win for boxing judges. 

As Dan Rafael mentioned post fight, Anthony Joshua mentioned several times pre fight that there is an immediate rematch clause so that he and Usyk can run it back. Can he do what he did to Andy Ruiz in their rematch or will Usyk get a different outcome?

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No disrespect to Ruiz, but with Oleksandr Usyk being the gold medal winner and professional he is, it will be unlikely to see him ballooning into a Majin Buu doppelganger, but rather staying in Gohan shape for another battle with Vegeta in Anthony Joshua. 

It will be a great fight to run back while Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder finally settle things once and for all and barring any more legal issues, maybe we finally get back to real, fun heavyweight boxing?

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