1) We have a number one

Although a list of 10, this is the only thing that really matters; that is, the only thing we really needed to learn from Usyk and Fury sharing a ring on Saturday in Riyadh. It took years to get there, then 12 rounds once we were finally there, but at long last our patience was rewarded and now we know. Now we know that the name of the world’s best heavyweight is Oleksandr Usyk.


2) The undisputed belt is rubbish

Arguably the ugliest belt witnessed in a boxing ring for some time (which is saying something), the red “undisputed” belt delivered to Oleksandr Usyk following the announcement of his win over Fury was as hard a blow as any he had taken all night. Rather than enhance the event, the belt contrived only to make a mockery of Usyk’s achievement and have the whole thing seem a little hollow and a little cheap. Besides, with news that the IBF are itching to strip Usyk in the next couple of weeks, the concept of an “undisputed” belt becomes all the more ridiculous.


3) There will be a rematch

Both fighters in the aftermath seemed adamant a second fight would happen and Fury, in particular, was hinting at a date in October. Depending on injuries, that may be too soon, but there was certainly enough in fight one to warrant a return fixture, what with the controversy surrounding the events in round nine and Fury’s belief, however true or not, that he deserved to win the fight.

Fury after the fight (Richard Pelham/Getty Images)


4) Fury was hurt

Despite the fact he had been dropped a total of seven times in his career prior to Saturday night, never before had we seen Tyson Fury as hurt as he was when Oleksandr Usyk landed that big left hand in round nine. Out on his feet, he would have also been on his back had it not been for the ropes keeping him upright and a referee, Mark Nelson, seemingly determined to ensure he made his way through the final 30 seconds of the round and reached the tenth.


5) Usyk kept the faith

It wasn’t all plain sailing for Usyk on Saturday night, that’s for sure. In the middle portion of the fight, he found Fury a difficult target to hit and, what is more, his inability to hit this target only made the target grow in confidence and self-belief. This led to some problematic rounds for Usyk before, in the latter stages of the seventh, and particularly in the eighth, he pulled himself together and introduced yet another twist in what was already a spellbinding contest.

Usyk lands a left (Richard Pelham/Getty Images)


6) The decision was correct

If anything, the only criticism of the split decision awarded to Oleksandr Usyk following 12 rounds in the company of Tyson Fury was that it was split. Most rounds were close, yes, but this did not seem, on the face of it, a difficult fight to score, nor did many people outside of Fury’s team feel Fury did enough to win the fight.


7) Fury stopped having fun

Whether an outpouring of nervous energy or a tool used to motivate himself, the showboating and clowning Tyson Fury produced in the early going served only to make his later demise all the more noticeable and alarming. After all, once hurt and in survival mode no longer was Fury messing around as he had been in the early rounds. No longer was he smiling and poking out his tongue whenever Usyk landed a shot. No longer did he seem to be having fun.

Fury covers up (FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images)


8) Everybody wants a piece of them

While it is nothing unusual to see a ring crowded with people following the conclusion of a fight, there was something particularly amusing – and disturbing – about the sheer amount of people hankering for their moment in the spotlight following Usyk vs. Fury. Even stranger was the amount of people desperate to get involved in the ring-walks and become part of a story that in the end required only two principal characters: Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk.


9) John Fury talks too much

Fury’s demise owed to more than just what he was being told between rounds, of course, but the sight and sound of his father, John, delivering instructions in the corner at numerous points hardly did much to inspire confidence, did it? Furthermore, this idea became only more bizarre when you noticed that Andy Lee, a former world middleweight champion, was content to stay silent out of respect for Fury’s main coach Sugar Hill, the man who had spent the entire training camp with Fury. All in all, it didn’t make a whole lot of sense. John Fury started the week headbutting a young Ukrainian and then finished the week trying to tell his son how to beat arguably the best boxer in the world.


10 It delivered

Regardless of which side you were on, and regardless of how you scored the fight, there can be no arguing the fact that the fight between Usyk and Fury delivered when it mattered. That it had taken an age, as well as the influence of Middle East money men, to get over the line remains a slight disappointment, true, but at least when it arrived it more than lived up to the hype and all the anticipation. It was, in the end, a reminder yet again that when heavyweight boxing is done properly there is still no division as capable of producing such compelling action, drama, and the intoxicating scent of chaos.