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Oleksandr Usyk Defeats Tyson Fury to Become First Undisputed Heavyweight Champion in 25 Years

Oleksandr Usyk emerged victorious over Tyson Fury by split decision to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion in 25 years.

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Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (May 18, 2024) - Oleksandr Usyk emerged victorious over Tyson Fury by split decision to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion in 25 years. Usyk (22-0, 14 KOs), who entered the ring holding the unified titles, captured Fury's (34-1-1, 24 KOs) lineal title in a thrilling contest that captivated boxing fans worldwide from the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh.

Oleksandr Usyk: The Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World.

The bout began with both fighters using their jabs to establish control. Usyk quickly set the pace, landing a looping left hook late in the first round and starting the second with a solid two-punch combination. The Ukrainian's agile movement and precision punches set the tone early, as he looked to outmaneuver the larger Fury.

As the fight progressed, Fury found his rhythm, particularly in the third round where he began throwing more combinations and landing effective body shots. Despite fighting off his back foot, Fury managed to deliver a powerful right uppercut early in the fourth round that forced Usyk to step back. The Gypsy King continued to stay busy behind his jab, setting up shots that kept Usyk wary.

Mid-Fight Momentum Shifts

In the sixth round, Fury landed a big right uppercut that visibly hurt Usyk, causing him to momentarily cover up. Fury, sensing an opportunity, bounced on his feet and taunted Usyk, pumping sharp jabs to maintain his advantage. Another hard right uppercut in the seventh round forced Usyk to back up, but the Ukrainian champion showed resilience, popping Fury with a straight right hand and finishing the round strong with a combination.

Usyk struck back in the eighth round, landing a three-punch combination that pushed Fury into the ropes. He followed up with another big two-punch combination and stunned Fury with a looping right hand, causing swelling to develop below Fury's right eye. The momentum seemed to shift to Usyk as he applied relentless pressure.

The Pivotal Ninth Round

Round nine proved to be decisive. Usyk, reinvigorated, pressured Fury against the ropes and landed a flush left hand. With Fury visibly hurt, Usyk unleashed a series of hard combinations, staggering Fury and forcing the referee to rule a knockdown just as the bell sounded to end the round. This moment marked a turning point, as Usyk seized control of the fight.

The Championship Rounds

Usyk continued his dominance in the tenth round, backing Fury into the corner. Although Fury appeared dazed from the previous round’s punishment, Usyk remained patient and strategic, avoiding unnecessary risks. In the eleventh round, Usyk pressed forward aggressively, catching Fury with another hard left hand and closing the round with a significant right.

In the final round, Fury showed some resilience, increasing his activity, but Usyk’s control of the fight was evident. Usyk dictated the pace, pushed forward, and landed a final left hand as the fight drew to a close.

The Decision and Aftermath

The judges scored the bout 115-112 and 114-113 in favor of Usyk, while the third judge had it 114-113 for Fury, resulting in a split decision victory for Usyk. This win not only preserved Usyk’s undefeated record but also made him the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis in 2000.

In his post-fight interview, Usyk expressed his elation and dedication to the sport. "This victory is for all of Ukraine. I trained very hard for this moment, and I bring all four belts home," he said.

Fury, gracious in defeat, acknowledged Usyk’s skill and determination. "Usyk fought a great fight. Tonight was his night," Fury remarked, hinting at the possibility of a rematch.

A New Chapter in Heavyweight Boxing

Oleksandr Usyk’s victory over Tyson Fury marks a significant milestone in heavyweight boxing. As the first undisputed heavyweight champion in 25 years, Usyk has cemented his legacy in the sport. Boxing fans now eagerly anticipate what’s next for the Ukrainian champion, whether it be a rematch with Fury or new challengers vying for the undisputed crown.

The fight in Riyadh will be remembered as a historic night for boxing, showcasing the sport's highest level of competition and the emergence of a new undisputed heavyweight champion.

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