Oleksandr Usyk Becomes First Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of Four-Belt Era, Sets Rematch with Tyson Fury

Oleksandr Usyk Crowned Undisputed Heavyweight Champion with Split Decision Win Over Tyson Fury

In a historic event in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Oleksandr Usyk became the first undisputed heavyweight champion in nearly 25 years. The last time the division saw an undisputed champion was when Lennox Lewis defeated Evander Holyfield in a legendary rematch in November 1999 in Las Vegas.

Early Sunday at the sold-out Kingdom Arena, Usyk floored Tyson Fury in Round 9, leading to a thrilling split decision victory. This monumental win marks a new era in boxing’s glamour division, with Usyk now holding the undisputed heavyweight title.

The wait was well worth it as Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury delivered a fight befitting the prestigious prize at stake. In a thrilling contest, one judge scored it 114-113 for Fury, but scores of 114-113 and 115-112 for Usyk ultimately handed the Englishman his first professional loss.

“It’s a big opportunity for me, for my family, for my country, for history,” said Usyk, who resides in war-torn Ukraine. “It’s a great day.”

Oleksandr Usyk, who entered the fight with the WBA, IBF, and WBO belts, captured Tyson Fury’s WBC title to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion in the four-belt era. Usyk also claimed the lineal heavyweight championship, a title Fury had held since his 2015 upset victory over Wladimir Klitschko.

The highly anticipated bout included a two-fight deal, with a rematch scheduled for October 12 in Riyadh. Fury aims to even the score and then pursue a superfight with Anthony Joshua in early 2025.

“I believe I won the fight, but I’m not going to sit here and cry and make excuses,” said Fury, who had a 39-pound and 6-inch advantage over Usyk. “I believe he won a few of the rounds, but I won the majority of them. What can you do? We both put on a good fight, the best we could do. … People are siding with the country at war. But make no mistake, I won that fight … and I’ll be back. We’ve got a rematch clause.”

Usyk (22-0, 14 KOs) required four stitches to close a cut over his right eye, according to his promoter, Alexander Krassyuk of K2 Promotions. There were concerns that Usyk might have suffered a broken jaw, and he was taken to a local hospital for an MRI. Usyk’s assistant trainer and cutman, Russ Anber, reported that Usyk didn’t complain about jaw pain until after the fight.

Despite these concerns, Krassyuk assured ESPN that there is “no doubt” Usyk would be ready for the scheduled rematch on October 12.

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