Anthony Joshua is no longer the WBA, IBF, and WBO heavyweight boxing champion. Joshua lost his titles after being stunned by Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk via unanimous decision in a spectacular fight over the weekend.
Usyk, fighting in his only third heavyweight fight, proved to be a tougher challenge for Joshua than expected. Making the best of his refined footwork, Usyk managed to evade Joshua’s power punches while landing his hits whenever he got an opportunity.
Joshua composed himself by the fourth round and started landing some punches making it seem like he was in control again. However, Usyk kept his composure and continued searching for openings. One such opening came late in the seventh round when he managed to land a hard hit that caused Joshua to stumble and almost go down on canvas.
The two boxers kept on trading rounds until the 11th round, when Usyk got ahead with several well-placed hits. The 34-year-old fighter continued to be aggressive in the 12th and forced Joshua into defense, which all but sealed the win for him.
The three judges scored the fight 117-112, 116-112, and 115-113 in favor of Usyk, who remained undefeated as a professional with a 19-0 record. Joshua, on the other hand, slipped to 24-2.
Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk could cross gloves again in early 2022. Joshua had a rematch clause in his fight contract and already confirmed he would take it.
“When I was walking back through the tunnel, I just said to myself, ‘I’m ready to get back to the gym, I’m ready to just put that work in,” Joshua told reporters after the fight.