Boxing news - Britain's Anthony Joshua loses world titles to masterful Oleksandr Usyk in unanimous decision
Joshua, who weighed in at 17st 2lbs for the fight, failed to defend his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles in what was a thrilling bout. The Ukrainian, Usyk, who came into the fight unbeaten in 18 pro fights but with only two at heavyweight, was fleet of foot and able to edge out the Brit when it really mattered to take his titles.
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Usyk nearly knocked Joshua out in the 12th round and ensured he did enough as the final minutes ticked down to clinch a superb victory.
Joshua was outboxed as he suffered the second defeat of his professional career, and the scorecards - which read: 117-112, 116-112, 115-113 - were all for Usyk.
Oleksandr Usyk punches as Anthony Joshua ducks during the Heavyweight Title Fight between Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Image credit: Getty Images
"This means a lot for me," Usyk told Sky Sports Box Office. "The fight went the way I expected it to go.
"There were moments when Anthony pushed me hard but it was nothing special. I had no objective to knock him out because my corner pushed me not to do that.
"In the beginning, I tried to hit him hard, but then I stuck to my job. The only thing I wanted to do with this fight is to give praise to Jesus Christ.
"I have been working so hard since January in preparation for this fight, it took me half a year and I didn't see my family for so long. I missed seeing them playing. I want to go home and be happy with my family and I'm not thinking about the rematch."
Former world super-middleweight champion Carl Froch told the BBC: "We always knew Usyk could outbox Joshua and beat him on points, but I don't think anyone knew he could do it in such a manner.
"He outboxed him and then started to beat him up when he didn't need to. It was a fight at the end, one that Usyk was in control of. He deserves every credit. Joshua did his part, he tried to box with him and work the body but it wasn't good enough.
"The way Usyk ended the fight I think he had an eye on the rematch. I think he was saying, I have outboxed you for 11 rounds and now I am going to stick it on you. Joshua is going to think about that when he goes to sleep at night and think 'I was almost out on my feet'."
Anthony Joshua cuts a dejected figure following the Heavyweight Title Fight between Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on September 25, 2021 in London
Image credit: Getty Images
Joshua has now won 24 professional fights and lost two, while Usyk's record remains perfect after 19 fights, having moved up from cruiserweight to become the new unified heavyweight world champion.