Usyk beats Fury to become undisputed champion

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Boxing - Tyson Fury v Oleksandr Usyk - Kingdom Arena, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - May 19, 2024 Oleksandr Usyk in action against Tyson Fury Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

Tyson Fury suffered a split-decision points defeat on a dramatic night in Saudi Arabia as Oleksandr Usyk became boxing’s first four-belt undisputed heavyweight champion. On a grand stage and on a legacy-defining night, Briton Fury began well but was given a standing 10 count and saved by the bell after an Usyk onslaught in the ninth round.

In a tense wait for the scorecards to be read out, Fury appeared convinced of victory before a stony-faced Usyk broke down in tears when he was confirmed as the winner. The scorecards read 115-112 and 114-113 for the Ukrainian, with a third judge scoring it 114-113 to Fury. It meant Fury, 35, lost for the first time in a 16-year professional career. He will get an immediate opportunity for revenge with a rematch planned for later this year.

“I believe he won a few of the rounds, but I won the majority,” a defiant Fury said in the ring. “His country is at war, so people are siding with the country at war. Make no mistake, I won that fight in my opinion.” He added: “It was one of the daftest decisions in boxing. I’ll be back.” Usyk takes the WBC belt from Fury, to add to his WBA, WBO and IBF collection. The 37-year-old remains unbeaten and is the first boxer in almost 25 years to stand tall as the sport’s 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.

“I am ready for a rematch.”

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