Boxing analysts and promoter have given an insight into why Oleksandr Usyk defeated Anthony Joshua in London on Saturday.
It was reported that Usyk ended Joshua’s reign as world heavyweight champion with a stunning unanimous points decision victory on Saturday, scuppering hopes of a ‘Battle of Britain’ unification bout with fellow world title-holder Tyson Fury.
Joshua ended the 12th and final round of the contest backed up on the ropes, with the cheers of a crowd of more than 62,000 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium no match for the skills of his challenger.
The impressive Ukrainian triumphed 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113 on the scorecards of the three judges in just the former undisputed cruiserweight world champion’s third bout as a heavyweight.
Reacting, boxing promoter, Eddie Hearn, said, “Usyk is very fit, he’s got great feet, he threw a lot of punches.
“He was probably a bit more aggressive than anticipated.
“It was a tough defeat. He got beat by the better man on the night.
“It’s going to be difficult because Usyk’s confidence will be sky high.
“He [Joshua] will want to go straight back into the rematch.
“The desire is still there. He can do so much better in that fight.”
On his part, analyst Josh Taylor said, “His movement was unbelievable and Joshua couldn’t keep up with him.
“That what I feared would happen tonight.”
The victory, which extended Usyk’s perfect record as a professional to 19 wins from as many fights, saw him become just the third boxer after Evander Holyfield of the United States and Britain’s David Haye to win both the cruiserweight and heavyweight world titles.
Boxing fans have long looked forward to a clash between Joshua and British compatriot Fury, who defends his World Boxing Council heavyweight title against Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas next month — the third time the pair have fought each other following a split-decision draw and a win for Fury.
But Joshua had to get past Usyk, the 2012 Olympic heavyweight champion at a London Games where Joshua won the super-heavyweight gold medal.
There is a rematch clause, with Joshua — who has now won 24 and lost two of his professional bouts — having previously lost his belts when beaten by Andy Ruiz in New York in June 2019 only to regain the titles in a rematch in Saudi Arabia six months later.
At 34, Usyk is three years older than Joshua and he was also giving away three inches in height as well as nearly 20lbs (nine kilogrammes) in weight.
Joshua, 31, whipped his loyal supporters into a frenzy during a protracted ring walk but did not get carried away himself during