Tyson Fury Defeated by Oleksandr Usyk in Dramatic Saudi Arabia Bout

Tyson Fury Defeated by Oleksandr Usyk in Dramatic Saudi Arabia Bout

On a grand stage in Saudi Arabia, Tyson Fury faced a split-decision points defeat, marking a dramatic night as Oleksandr Usyk became boxing’s first four-belt undisputed heavyweight champion.

The Briton started strong, but in the ninth round, Usyk’s onslaught led to a standing 10 count, with Fury saved by the bell.

The scorecards read 115-112 and 114-113 in favor of Usyk, with one judge scoring it 114-113 for Fury.

This loss marks the first in Fury’s 16-year professional career, but he will have an immediate chance for revenge with a rematch planned for later this year.

Tyson Fury Defeated by Oleksandr Usyk in Dramatic Saudi Arabia Bout
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“I believe he won a few of the rounds, but I won the majority,” a defiant Fury said in the ring. “It was one of the daftest decisions in boxing. I’ll be back.”

Usyk now holds the WBC belt, adding it to his WBA, WBO, and IBF titles. The 37-year-old remains unbeaten, becoming the first boxer in almost 25 years to be the sole heavyweight world champion.

“Thank you so much to my team. It’s a big opportunity for my family, for me, for my country. It’s a great time, it’s a great day,” Usyk said. “Yes, of course. I am ready for a rematch.”

Usyk, a former undisputed cruiserweight world champion, triumphed in a fight of two halves at Riyadh’s Kingdom Arena, propelling himself into the conversation as an all-time great.

The arena, initially quiet for the undercard, came alive with 20,000 spectators, including famous faces like Cristiano Ronaldo, for the main event.

Usyk entered the ring wearing a striking all-green traditional Ukrainian outfit, his eyes fixed on the ring. In contrast, a playful Fury sang and danced to Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out For A Hero,” racing to the ring and goading his opponent, much to the delight of 2,500 traveling British fans.

As the two champions met in the center of the ring at the first bell, the long wait to crown an undisputed champion was about to end.

Tyson Fury Defeated by Oleksandr Usyk in Dramatic Saudi Arabia Bout
Getty Images

Usyk landed a solid left hook in the first round, backing Fury into a corner, which the Gypsy King dismissively laughed off. Fury responded with two painful uppercuts to Usyk’s midsection in the second round. Trainer SugarHill Steward asked Fury for “more body shots” between rounds, and Fury complied.

Fury’s height and reach advantage seemed too much for Usyk to solve initially. An uppercut in the sixth round staggered Usyk, as former champions Lennox Lewis, Larry Holmes, and Evander Holyfield watched Fury assert his dominance.

Usyk, known for starting slowly, began finding success with his left hand in the sixth round. “You’ve got to work now, Tyson,” a member of Fury’s team shouted, as Usyk landed several left hands in the eighth round.

A dazed Fury staggered around the ring, seemingly out on his feet, and into the ropes. He received a 10 count before the bell rang.

The fight, far from the tactical match-up some predicted, lived up to the hype. Another bruising left hand from Usyk in the 11th round and a competitive final round may have edged Usyk across the winning line.

Usyk’s unshakable will prevails against a fit Fury. After a lackluster performance against Francis Ngannou in October, Fury showed he was a conditioned competitor here, controlling early parts of the fight. However, his chance of becoming an undisputed champion may not come again soon.

A rematch is planned for October, but it is unlikely to be for all four belts, as the IBF plans to strip Usyk for not facing their mandatory challenger next.

“We’ll go back, rest up. I believe I won the fight but I’m not going to sit and cry and make excuses. We’ll run it again,” Fury added.

As the dust settles, Fury may be licking his wounds, while Usyk’s unshakable will and mental toughness prevailed. The heavyweight world title, considered the greatest prize in sport, was draped across Usyk’s 6ft 3in frame as he left the ring, proving that size does not always matter.

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Pooja Chauhan

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