Oleksandr Usyk is still the heavyweight champion of the world, defending his world titles after a sensational 12-round war against British superstar Anthony Joshua.
Before the game, he claimed to be a nightmare for Joshua.
“It’s true, I must be the hardest opponent because it is complicated to find another southpaw who moves a lot and behaves the way I do,” he said.
Joshua lost his WBA, IBF and WBO titles to the 35-year-old Ukrainian in London last year, and – unlike in his rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019 – was unable to turn the tables in the rematch in Saudi Arabia.
Usyk withstood an early assault from the British 32-year-old and another staggering blitz in the ninth round to surge back on top at the end, emerging a split decision winner 113-115, 115-113, 116-112. His victory last year came via unanimous decision, with this fight much closer.
But the famous win was somewhat marred by bizarre actions from Joshua, who threw two of his opponents belts outside of the ring, before confronting the world champion.
Below are 10 things to know about Usyk:
Usyk was born on 17 January 1987 (age 35 years).
He is a Ukrainian professional boxer.
Until March, he was on the frontline in the ongoing war between his country and Russia.
He is a world champion in two weight classes, having held the unified WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles since defeating Anthony in 2021; and the undisputed cruiserweight title from 2018 to 2019.
He is the first cruiserweight champion to hold all four major world titles.
He is widely regarded as one of the greatest Ukrainian boxers of all time
As an amateur, Usyk won gold medals at the 2011 World Championships and 2012 Olympics, both in the heavyweight division.
He turned professional in 2013 and won the undisputed cruiserweight championship in his 15th professional fight in 2018
He is particularly notable for the speed of his accomplishments, winning his first world title in his tenth fight, and becoming the undisputed champion of his weight class by his fifteenth fight.
As of June 2022, Usyk ranked as the world’s second best active boxer, pound for pound, by ‘The Ring’