Oleksandr Usyk (16-0, 12 KOs) of Ukraine had the opportunity to write the final chapter in what could be a lengthy and beautiful boxing story in his hometown of Kiev.
Usyk defeated world champion Anthony Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs) of Britain by scores of 115-112, 116-111 and 117-110 (twice).
If you followed the men, you will know that Joshua started the fight strong, with Usyk throwing his jab up against Joshua’s head for the first eight minutes of the fight.
Joshua tried to land a heavy counter right hand that was hurting Usyk at the end of the seventh round. Usyk snapped back the super middleweight’s head with his right hand and then threw a flurry of punches with a minute remaining.
Joshua had an upper hand when the two exchanged in the second half of the contest. The first knockdown came courtesy of a right hook from Joshua in the 10th round that seemed to change the dynamic.
Usyk ate a right hand that the referee ruled a low blow, and then he floored Joshua with a right hand that left Joshua gasping for air. Usyk pounced on Joshua and continued to land punches.
Joshua regained his composure, but that momentum lasted only one round as Usyk landed several punches to floor Joshua in the penultimate round.
Joshua was not through. He came back with his customary A game and landed the most punches of the fight.
Usyk ended Joshua’s hopes of becoming the unified heavyweight champion of the world.
At the end of the night, Usyk is the newest king in the heavyweight division. Usyk becomes the IBF, WBA, IBO and WBO champion, joining the likes of Wladimir Klitschko, Michael Sprott, Tyson Fury, Lennox Lewis, Wladimir Klitschko, Wladimir Klitschko, Tony Bellew, Dillian Whyte, Jarrell Miller, Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder.