Usyk beats Fury to become undisputed world heavyweight boxing champion

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Oleksandr Usyk beat Tyson Fury by split decision to win the world’s first undisputed heavyweight championship in 25 years on Sunday, an unprecedented feat in boxing’s four-belt era.

The judges scored the fight 115-112 for Usyk, 114-113 for Fury, leaving the final card to decide, which read 114-113 for Usyk.

It meant Fury, 35, lost for the first time in a 16-year professional career. He will get an immediate opportunity for revenge with a rematch planned for later this year.

Britain’s Fury was the early aggressor but Usyk gradually took charge and the “Gypsy King” was saved by the bell in the ninth round before slumping to his first career defeat.

Ukraine’s Usyk joins the likes of Muhammad Ali, Joe Louis and Mike Tyson as undisputed heavyweight champion, the first since boxing recognised four major belts in the 2000s.

With the win, the former undisputed cruiserweight champion can legitimately claim to be the best of this era, although a rematch expected in October could provide another twist.

Britain’s Lennox Lewis was the last man to unify the heavyweight belts — three at the time — after beating Evander Holyfield in 1999.

In a post-bout interview, Fury who recorded a loss for the first time in his professional career claimed to have won the fight and requested a rematch which will likely be held in October

He said, “I believe I won that fight. I believe he won a few of the rounds, but I won majority of them. And I believe it was – what can you do? – one of them decisions in boxing.

“We’ve both put on a good fight. Best we could do. And, you know, his country’s at war. So people are siding with a country at war. But make no mistake, I’ve won that fight in my opinion, and I’ll be back. We’ve got a rematch clause.

“You know, I thank Jesus for all the victories he’s given me. I’ve dropped a split decision to the good little man, and I thank him again in the mighty name of Jesus. We go back home to our families and we’ll run it back in October.”

Undercard fight results:

Jai Opetaia def. Mairis Briedis via unanimous decision (117-111, 116-112, 116-112) — For the vacant IBF cruiserweight title

Anthony Cacace def. Joe Cordina via eighth-round TKO (0:39) — For Cordina’s IBF super featherweight title

Agit Kabayel def. Frank Sanchez via seventh-round KO (2:33) — WBC heavyweight championship eliminator

Moses Itauma def. Ilija Mezencev via second-round TKO (0:50) — For the vacant WBO Intercontinental heavyweight title

Mark Chamberlain def. Joshua Wahab via first-round KO (2:42) — For the WBC silver lightweight title

Robin Sirawn Safar def. Sergey Kovalev via unanimous decision (97-92, 99-90, 95-94)

David Nyika def. Michael Seitz via fourth-round TKO (2:45)

Source: The Guardian

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