THE RESULT: Oleksandr Usyk defeated Tyson Fury by a split decision verdict in the Kingdom Arena, Saudi Arabia. The scores were 114-113 and 115-112 to Usyk and 114-113 in favour of Fury.


KEY MOMENTS: So many to count. Usyk landed a left hand in round one that instantly caught Fury’s attention. That same shot was there for him all night, as the body shot and uppercuts were there for Fury.

The key moment of all came in round nine when Fury was badly hurt and dropped. He somehow made it out of the round. The question remains: should referee Mark Nelson have stopped the contest?


RECORDS: Usyk remains unbeaten at 22-0 (14 KOs), while Fury suffers his first professional defeat and falls to 34-1-1 (24 KOs).


TALKING POINTS: Usyk seems to fight better when he’s hurt and/or exhausted. His hand speed was immense at times, as was his shot selection to head and body.

Fury opted to stand off and box with his back to the ropes for much of the contest. Was his box-and-move strategy wise? Whenever he moved forward and used his size, the success was clear to see. 

Both men ended up with facial damage. Usyk was cut early, while Fury’s face marked up at the end. The decisions of the referee and the scoring of the judges will also be talked about long into the night, as is often the case in this sport.

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QUOTABLE: “Thank you so much for my team, my family, for Jesus, my country,” said Usyk, who reacted to the possibility of a rematch. “Yes, of course, I am ready for the rematch.”

Fury started off softly during his post-fight interview but became increasingly ruffled: “I believe I won that fight. We both put on a good fight. His country is at war and people sided with the country at war,” he said. 

“No disrespect to the referee, but he stole a KO in the ninth,” said Usyk’s promoter Alex Krassyuk.


WHAT HAPPENS NEXT: There’s a rematch clause, and both seemed keen. Promoter Frank Warren skated around the issue in the ring, saying it was up to Tyson Fury. It’s difficult interviewing fighters straight after such an exhausting battle. Taking repeated punches to the skull and then trying to put together coherent, inoffensive responses is not an easy task.


SUPPORTING CAST: Jai Opetaia defeated Mairis Briedis on points in their rematch. Anthony Cacace stunned Joe Cordina with an eighth-round TKO. Agit Kabayel stopped Frank Sanchez in round seven. 

Mark Chamberlain annihalated Joshua Wahab in a single round. Sergey Kovalev lost to Robin Safar over 10 rounds, and there was plenty more action and talking points. We’ll look at it all in greater depth over the coming days.