An Unexpected Hero Knocks Down Anthony Joshua
This past weekend was chaotic in boxing as Oleksandr Usyk upset Anthony Joshua in the heavyweight class. The power-punching 31-year-old from London, Anthony Joshua, was the favorite for this fight. Joshua started off slowly and was trailing in the early rounds to a smaller and craftier fighter. Oleksander Usyk, an undefeated 34 year old from Ukraine, dominated the match. Usyk was landing heavy punches every round and almost always had the upper hand. Usyk often shushed the crowd with his quick 1-2 left, right jabs. Finally late in the 12th round, Usyk hit Joshua with heavy one-two punches and sent him to the ropes as the final bell approached.
That assertive round from Usyk led to a unanimous decision win in a fight in which the odds were stacked against him. The judges scored the bout 117-112, 116-112, and 115-113, all in favor of Usyk. This fight now pushed Usyk to 19-0. Although his record makes it seem like Usyk was not an underdog, he was recently bumped up to heavyweight class, in which spectators thought he could not compete. Joshua stands at a solid 6 foot 6 240 lbs while Usyk stands at 6 foot 3 and 221 lbs. Joshua definitely had the size advantage; however, Joshua just could not keep up with Usyk’s agility and elusiveness.
Joshua mostly won mid round fights, relying on his jab and his full bodyweight punches. That's where the size played a major advantage for Joshua; Joshua’s punches hit Usyk quite hard. However, Joshua lacked the ability to keep up with Usyk’s left jab. Usyk also had much better footwork and at some points was dancing around Joshua.
Leading up to the bout, Joshua and his supporters presented it as a celebration, calling it the first stadium show and most-attended boxing event in England since the coronavirus pandemic began. The fight was presented in a very formal way and there was much respect amongst the fighters and their teams.
Although it would have been more exciting if there was a little less respect between the two, the boxing match still brought a lot to the table. For example, since Conor McGregor shows absolutely no respect for his opponents and that makes him super exciting to watch. He penetrates his opponents’ heads so when they go into the ring, their head is not in the game. Another reason the fight was so formal was because the World Boxing Organization mandated the fight.
On Oct. 9, Tyson Fury will defend his championship for the third time against Deontay Wilder, and the winner could face Usyk, who won the title in only his third fight at the heavyweight level after unifying all four world cruiserweight titles in 2018. Usyk has been cruising through London; this was the third belt that he earned there in the past three years. He also won an olympic gold medal there in 2012. Oleksander Usyk has such a bright future ahead of him and every boxing fan should be excited to watch him.