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Usyk Defeats Fury to Become Undisputed Heavyweight Champion

Photo Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Oleksandr Usyk (22-0, 14 KOs) defeated Tyson Fury (34-1-1, 24 KOs) by split decision in a dramatic, seesaw battle to capture the undisputed championship Saturday evening at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. With the victory, Usyk became only the second former undisputed cruiserweight champion, following Evander Holyfield, to repeat the deed at heavyweight.

It looks like the two will do it again, as a rematch is tentatively planned for October.

Usyk said, "Yes, of course. Rematch. I am ready!”

“I believe I won that fight. I believe he won a few of the rounds. I thought I won a majority of them, and I believe it was a — what can you do — these are the decisions in boxing. We both put on a good fight, the best we could do," Fury said, “We go back, have a little rest up, spend some time with our families, and get it back on in October.”

Fury succeeded in the early rounds, peppering Usyk with savage right hands to the body. Just as it looked like the reigning lineal champion would add another notch to his Hall of Fame belt, Usyk stunned Fury with an overhand left in round nine that sent him reeling into the ropes. A series of power shots, punctuated by another sweeping left, sent Fury staggering near a neutral corner. Referee Mark Nelson called it a knockdown, and Fury rose gingerly to his feet as the bell sounded to end the stanza.

Fury somehow recovered, but the tide had turned. The 223-pound Usyk was pushing the pace against the 262-pound behemoth, winning the 10th and 11th rounds on two of the scorecards to secure the victory. Fury rebounded to win the 12th on all three cards, but it was too late. Usyk, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist, is now king of the heavyweight division.

In other results:

Cruiserweight: Jai Opetaia (25-0, 19 KOs) UD 12 Mairis Briedis (28-3, 20 KOs), Scores: 117-111 and 116-112 2x. Opetaia wins IBF Cruiserweight World Title & Retains Ring Magazine Cruiserweight Title.

Junior Lightweight: Anthony Cacace (22-1, 8 KOs) TKO 8 Joe Cordina (17-1, 9 KOs), :39. Cacace wins IBF World Title.

Heavyweight: Agit Kabayel (25-0, 17 KOs) KO 7 Frank Sanchez (24-1, 17 KOs), 2:33. WBC Title Eliminator.

Heavyweight: Moses Itauma (9-0, 7 KOs) TKO 2 Ilja Mezencev (25-4, 21 KOs), :50. Itauma wins WBO Intercontinental Title.

Lightweight: Mark Chamberlain (16-0, 12 KOs) TKO 1 Joshua Oluwaseun Wahab (23-2, 16 KOs), 2:42. Chamberlain wins vacant WBC Silver Title.

Cruiserweight: Robin Sirwan Safar (17-0, 12 KOs) UD 10 Sergey Kovalev (35-5-1, 29 KOs), Scores: 99-90, 97-92 and 95-94.

Light Heavyweight: Daniel Lapin (10-0, 4 KOs) KO 1 Octavio Pudivitr (9-2, 4 KOs), Time: 1:47.

Featherweight: Isaac Lowe (25-2-3, 8 KOs) PTS 10 Hasibullah Ahmadi (16-2, 5 KOs), Score: 97-92.


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