Fighter of the Month: The great Oleksandr Usyk. Who else?

Fighter of the Month: The great Oleksandr Usyk. Who else?

Editor’s note: The is the first installment of Boxing Junkie’s new feature “Fighter of the Month.

Boxing Junkie’s first Fighter of the Month selection couldn’t have been more obvious.

Heavyweight titleholder Oleksandr Usyk gave a virtuoso performance in his rematch with former champion Anthony Joshua on Aug. 20 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, winning a split decision that most believe should’ve been unanimous.

The scores were 116-112, 115-113 and 113-115.

The fight was close for nine rounds, as Joshua, who had lost a decision and his belts to Usyk last September, fought with more urgency the second time around.

The Englishman was actually leading on two of the three scorecards after nine rounds.

However, Usyk, who Joshua trainer Robert Garcia said afterward was mentally stronger down the stretch, took charge in the final three rounds to have his hand raised, underscore his greatness and bolster the spirits of his besieged countrymen.

Usyk won the three final rounds on the two cards that favored him, which sealed his victory. The third judge had Usyk winning two of the last three rounds.

The former undisputed cruiserweight champion is approaching legend status, having ruled one division and twice beating a significantly bigger rival who once seemed destined for greatness.

However, his biggest challenge might lie ahead. His victory appears to set up a showdown with fellow beltholder Tyson Fury for the undisputed heavyweight championship, in which he already is at least a 2-1 underdog according to outlets that have posted odds.

If that fight happens and Usyk can pull off a victory, people will start tossing around the term ”all-time great.” And they might be justified.

[lawrence-related id=32329,32265,32257,32254,32240,32205,32157]

[vertical-gallery id=32170]

Fighter of the Month: The great Oleksandr Usyk. Who else?

Fighter of the Month: The great Oleksandr Usyk. Who else?

Editor’s note: The is the first installment of Boxing Junkie’s new feature “Fighter of the Month.

Boxing Junkie’s first Fighter of the Month selection couldn’t have been more obvious.

Heavyweight titleholder Oleksandr Usyk gave a virtuoso performance in his rematch with former champion Anthony Joshua on Aug. 20 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, winning a split decision that most believe should’ve been unanimous.

The scores were 116-112, 115-113 and 113-115.

The fight was close for nine rounds, as Joshua, who had lost a decision and his belts to Usyk last September, fought with more urgency the second time around.

The Englishman was actually leading on two of the three scorecards after nine rounds.

However, Usyk, who Joshua trainer Robert Garcia said afterward was mentally stronger down the stretch, took charge in the final three rounds to have his hand raised, underscore his greatness and bolster the spirits of his besieged countrymen.

Usyk won the three final rounds on the two cards that favored him, which sealed his victory. The third judge had Usyk winning two of the last three rounds.

The former undisputed cruiserweight champion is approaching legend status, having ruled one division and twice beating a significantly bigger rival who once seemed destined for greatness.

However, his biggest challenge might lie ahead. His victory appears to set up a showdown with fellow beltholder Tyson Fury for the undisputed heavyweight championship, in which he already is at least a 2-1 underdog according to outlets that have posted odds.

If that fight happens and Usyk can pull off a victory, people will start tossing around the term ”all-time great.” And they might be justified.

[lawrence-related id=32329,32265,32257,32254,32240,32205,32157]

[vertical-gallery id=32170]