In 2019, no one thought that a small heavyweight who came from the cruiserweight division would be in a few years at the top of the most exciting division in the sport.
At that time, Alexander Usyk was just about to fight Chazz Witherspoon, and leviathans like Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua ruled the roost.
But here we are. Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs) defeated Joshua in the rematch and now holds the IBF, WBA, WBO belts.
THE WAR. Joshua (24-3, 22KOs) was successful in striking, trying to find a home for his long jab.
Usyk, being the fighter that he is, got a few serious shots but for the most part, Joshua dominated the action.
Usyk got stronger in the fourth, but Joshua made good body moves.
In the middle of the fight I was ahead of Joshua in two rounds.
The eighth round was close and full of action with both men getting their moments, but Joshua really came alive in the ninth.
He delivered several body shots that scared Usyk. Joshua tried his best to inflict more damage but Usyk caught him smartly and tied him up to stop his offense.
Unfortunately for Joshua, Usyk showed improved strength and in the next round took revenge for the punch he received.
Usyk landed several combinations that scared Joshua and although the latter landed a big right hand, Usyk dominated him in the 10th.
The last two rounds were very entertaining but Usyk dominated with busy hands and moves. Joshua would deliver an attack here and there but Usyk was more consistent with his combinations.
The split decision in favor of Usyk is a sign of the closeness of the proceedings, but it still spells doom for AJ’s career as he has now lost twice to Usyk leaving him with no able to recognize his enemy.
CONSTRUCTION. Maybe all the mixed emotions he was feeling all came to a head after the fight, because Joshua was acting strangely.
He threw his belts out of the ring, headed to the dressing room and then back into the ring.
He then took some of the light off of Usyk by going to grab the mic, make a short speech about why he lost, and then he started being Usyk’s coach.
Final round. It is on a dear friend who recently turned a landmark, Dr. Gerry Ypil. Happy 50th birthday, brother. Cheers!