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Oleksandr Usyk beats Anthony Joshua to retain world heavyweight titles

Dominic Smithers

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Oleksandr Usyk beats Anthony Joshua to retain world heavyweight titles

Oleksandr Usyk has defeated Anthony Joshua in their heavyweight rematch.

The Ukrainian fighter managed to beat the former Olympic champion for the second time following his shock victory over the Brit last year.

The pair went toe to toe at the Jeddah Superdome in Saudi Arabia this evening (20 August), with millions watching around the world.

It's the third time Joshua has been beaten in his career, having previously lost his heavyweight titles to Mexican fighter Andy Ruiz Jr. back in June 2019 before regaining them in a rematch later that year.

Following the victory, Usyk remains undefeated, having won all 19 of his previous fights, 13 by way of knockout and six via a decision.

Usyk retained his heavyweight titles in the long-awaited rematch. Credit: PA Images/Alamy
Usyk retained his heavyweight titles in the long-awaited rematch. Credit: PA Images/Alamy

Speaking after the fight, Usyk dedicated his victory to his family and his country, which is still in the midst of a war with Russia.

He said: "I want thank everyone who prayed for me. I want to thank God for the help that he gave me today because he did give me a lot today. My Lord is Jesus Christ."

Usyk caused an upset in September last year when he and Joshua went up against one another at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium in London.

The 35-year-old was awarded the victory following a unanimous decision, taking home the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts.

Prior to the rematch, there had been rumours that Joshua would retire had he lost for a second consecutive time.

However, the 32-year-old said he wouldn't be forced into making a decision.

He said: "It’s up to me at the end of the day, it’s not up to anyone else what I do with my career. I don’t have to do this. Why do I do it? It’s because it’s all I know.

It's the second time the Ukrainian has beaten Joshua. Credit: PA Images/Alamy
It's the second time the Ukrainian has beaten Joshua. Credit: PA Images/Alamy

"This is also my 12th consecutive world title fight. I’ve been in world title fights back to back 12 times.

"It happens – if you’re fighting people at world level, you’re meeting people of world-level quality.

"I'm not fighting people who are below par."

Joshua said that he had tried to 'outbox' Usyk in their first meeting and that he changed his 'mindset' for tonight's bout.

He told Sky Sports News: "I wanted to outbox my opponent, whether it was Usyk or anyone else, that was the mindset [in the first fight].

"I wanted to outbox my opponent and on Saturday I want to smash my opponent.

"That's just the mindset now."

Featured Image Credit: PA Images/Alamy/Sky Sports Box Office

Topics: Anthony Joshua, Boxing, UK News, Ukraine

Dominic Smithers
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