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Home » Usyk becomes undisputed P4P King as ropes keep Fury up

Usyk becomes undisputed P4P King as ropes keep Fury up

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Oleksandr Usyk became the new undisputed heavyweight champion after a scintillating display against Tyson Fury in Riyadh.

The Ukrainian master started brightly and got into a rhythm, with Fury finding it hard to work out the Olympic gold medalist’s style. Fury had work to do by round four and upped his game considerably. Rocking Usyk with a superb uppercut, it looked at one stage as if Fury could soften the unified titleholder up and take him out in the mid-rounds. However, Usyk is made of sterner stuff.

In the seventh, when he needed it most – and as he always does, Usyk won the next round. He took control in the eighth by bloodying Fury’s nose and causing his eye to swell before producing an amazing three minutes in the ninth. Usyk slammed Fury with an almighty left hook and had the Briton flying back against the ropes. Aiming to capitalize, Usyk landed several solid head shots as “The Gypsy King” bounced around the ring. After hitting three sides of the squared circle, the referee eventually saved Fury, who called a knockdown when the ropes kept him up.

Usyk didn’t rest there and kept the pressure on Fury, claiming the next two rounds to secure a comprehensive victory – or so it seemed. Fury took a close final round on my scorecard to hand Usyk the four belts with a score of 116-11.

However, the judges had other ideas. The final scores read 113-114 to Fury, but thankfully, the right man got the nod by totals of 114-113 and 115-112, which were still too close on reflection.

Punch stat number crunchers CompuBox said of the fight: “The quarter of the fight pitted Fury’s jab versus Usyk’s power punches. After three rounds, Fury held a 25-14 advantage in jabs landed, while Usyk led in power punches 21-12. Fury found his offensive groove in the fourth round, landing a fight-high 22 punches in the fifth round, 16 of them power punches.

“After the sixth round, both combatants were dead even in power punches landed at 39 a piece. Going into the seventh round, Fury had built a 63-56 lead in power punches landed and seemed to be seizing control of the fight. Usyk responded in the eighth round, landing 12 power punches to Fury’s 6. Fury came out of the round with a bloody nose and a mouse under his right eye.

“Usyk continued taking the fight to Fury in the ninth round, hurting and knocking down Fury at the end of the round. Fury’s recuperative powers kept him in the fight, but Usyk landed 36 power punches in rounds ten through twelve to Fury’s 15.”

Usyk becomes the first undisputed heavyweight champion in 25 years and the Pound for Pound King of boxing. In a fitting tribute, Terence Crawford agreed with the notion that Usyk is number one.

“Man, you all better put some respect on Usyk. He is definitely a candidate for the number one P4P fighter in the world,” said Crawford. “I’m no hater. He beat the man that beat the man in a bigger division, giving what he’s already done. Salute, brother!”

Read all articles and exclusive interviews by Phil Jay. Learn more about the author, experienced boxing writer, and World Boxing News Editor since 2010. Follow on Twitter @PhilJWBN.