Oleksandr Usyk Nearly Knocks Out Tyson Fury, Captures Heavyweight Titles in Instant Classic

Oleksandr Usyk Nearly Knocks Out Tyson Fury, Captures Heavyweight Titles in Instant Classic
Published on May 20, 2024, 7:25:03 PM
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Oleksandr Usyk became the first undisputed heavyweight champion in 25 years after narrowly defeating Tyson Fury by split decision in a thrilling 12-round bout. The fight, held at a packed venue, was nothing short of an epic battle between two of boxing’s most formidable heavyweights.

As the smaller fighter in the ring, Usyk faced a daunting challenge dealing with Fury’s size and power throughout the night. However, he came closest to finishing the fight in a spectacular ninth round. With Fury on the defensive, Usyk unleashed a massive combination, ending with a huge right hand that staggered Fury. As Fury wobbled, Usyk pressed forward with another fierce combination, including a staggering left hook, nearly prompting referee Mark Nelson to stop the fight. Instead, Nelson stepped in to give Fury a standing 10 count, allowing him to survive the round as the bell rang seconds later.

Despite being visibly shaken, Fury recovered between rounds and came back strong, giving Usyk all he could handle in the final three rounds. The judges scored the fight 115-112 and 114-113 for Usyk, with the third judge scoring it 114-113 for Fury. This split decision was enough to crown Usyk as the new undisputed heavyweight champion, maintaining his undefeated record.

“Thank you so much for my team,” Usyk said, emotion evident on his face. “It’s a great time, it’s a great day.”

Fury, while gracious in defeat, felt he had done enough to win.

“I believe I won that fight,” Fury stated. “I believe he won a few of the rounds but I believe I won the majority of them. We both put on a good fight, the best we could do. His country’s at war so people are siding with the country at war. Make no mistake, I won that fight, in my opinion. I’ll be back. I’ve got a rematch clause. We’ll run it back October.”


The fight’s outcome hinged on several pivotal moments, particularly Usyk’s near finish in the ninth round. Usyk’s relentless activity and forward pressure troubled Fury early, with Fury finding his rhythm only by the third round. Fury’s best round came in the sixth, where he landed several hard shots, forcing Usyk to backpedal and play defense. 

However, Usyk’s resurgence in the ninth round nearly ended the contest. Fury’s resilience and the referee’s decision to allow him to continue showcased Fury’s toughness, despite being on the brink of a knockout.

As the fight continued, both fighters exchanged powerful blows, with Fury’s straight right catching Usyk off guard multiple times.


Wladimir Klitschko Celebrates Oleksandr Usyk's Historic Win for Ukraine

Former world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko expressed immense pride and joy as his fellow Ukrainian, Oleksandr Usyk, achieved a historic milestone by becoming the first undisputed heavyweight champion in 25 years. Usyk secured this remarkable feat in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, by adding Tyson Fury’s WBC title to his collection of WBA, IBF, and WBO belts.

Klitschko, whose dominance in the heavyweight division was ended by Fury in 2015, had previously held all the major titles except the WBC, which was held by his brother Vitali Klitschko during parts of his reign. The significance of this achievement goes beyond the individual accolades, representing a powerful moment of pride for Ukraine, a nation enduring hardship since Russia's invasion over two years ago.

“This historic win is not just important for Oleksandr Usyk,” Wladimir Klitschko. “Can you imagine the pressure this man faced these past weeks? Losing was not an option.

He has proven his greatness once as a cruiserweight, and now, regardless of Tyson Fury’s size, reach, and mobility, Oleksandr Usyk has shown he is the best fighter in modern history. I’m very proud of Oleksandr Usyk and very proud to be Ukrainian.”


Klitschko admitted to feeling uncertain when the judges announced a split decision, but he believed Usyk’s dominant performance, particularly in the ninth round, had secured his victory. Fury's resilience in surviving the ninth round was noteworthy, but Usyk's consistent performance throughout the fight made him deserving of the win.


“When you’re counting the points, you cannot be 100 percent sure in boxing, but the judges ruled correctly. Outstanding performance by both fighters. I’m surprised Fury made it to the end, but let’s give him respect.

Most importantly, Oleksandr stayed firm and did what he was supposed to do to become the heavyweight champion of the world—the Ukrainian heavyweight champion of the world,” Klitschko added.

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