Usyk Stuns Joshua On Points
Anthony Joshua always had to bring his best, and even that wasn’t likely to be good enough. Oleksandr Usyk proved size isn’t everything tonight in front of a near 70,000 crowd in London, winning multiple versions of the world heavyweight title with relative ease.
Joshua needed a good start, it didn’t come and neither did the punch he badly needed to salvage something from a horrible and humbling experience for the British fighter.
The judges had it 117-112, 116-112 and an absurd and unrealistic 115-113. One robbery a night is plenty. This observer saw it 9-3 in rounds. Usyk won beyond any doubt.
Usyk even when he is doing nothing, seems to be doing something. Joshua was too static and too limited in the early rounds. A reluctance to let the right hand go was costly, Usyk put on a masterclass and Joshua had no answer.
I said beforehand Joshua needed to use his physical advantages, coming in light looked a highly questionable tactic. Trying to outbox Usyk looked like a mission impossible. So it proved.
After sweeping the opening rounds, Usyk was seemingly coasting his way to a one-sided win, but Joshua found some semblance of hope in the 5th and the 6th before Usyk extinguished any thin hope of a comeback in the 7th. The miracle punch Joshua needed never looked likely to come.
Usyk finished strong and had an exhausted Joshua on the brink of being stopped as the bell sounded. The finishing touches to an almost exemplary performance from the new unified heavyweight champion.
The tiresome obligated rematch will no doubt be triggered, but Joshua was beaten so comprehensively that future redemption looks unlikely. Usyk was much the better fighter and it is difficult to see a way Joshua can reverse this devastating defeat.
There have always been limitations with Joshua and Usyk always had the look of a fighter who would expose them further.
Joshua will return, but unlike in his previous defeat, there can be no excuses this time. Usyk was simply too good, sometimes in boxing it’s that simple.
Photo Credit: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing