Oleksandr Usyk Becomes First Undisputed Heavyweight Champion in 24 Years

Oleksandr Usyk during a press conference in July 2023
Oleksandr Usyk during a press conference in July 2023. Photo by Andrzej Iwanczuk/NurPhoto/Shutterstock (14004166n)

Oleksandr Usyk is the first boxer in 24 years who can call himself an undisputed heavyweight champion. Usyk earned the bragging rights by beating Tyson Fury in an action-packed boxing match on Sunday.

Usyk entered the fight, which was a long time in the making, holding WBA, WBO, and IBF belts. Fury, on the other hand, held the WBC championship belt.

Throughout the first eight rounds, the fight was even, and it appeared it could go either way or even finish in a draw. However, Usyk sent Fury into the ropes in the ninth round and would probably knocked him down if it wasn’t for the bell. The Ukrainian then did enough to keep the image fresh in the memory of the judges in the next three rounds.

After 12 rounds, the judges came to a split decision. Two judges ruled the fight in Usyk’s favor (115-112, 114-113), while one judge awarded the fight to Fury (113-114).

“Is great time. Is great day,” Usyk said after being announced as the winner. “Is big opportunity for my team, for my family, for my country!”

Fury, who suffered the first loss of his career, disputed the decision. He also announced he’ll trigger the rematch clause. If that happens, the second fight between Usyk and Fury would take place in October.

“I believe I won that fight. I believe he won a few of the rounds, but I won the majority of them. What can you do?” Fury said after the fight. “We both put on a good fight, best we could do … I won that fight and I’ll be back. I’ve got a rematch clause.”

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