United Kingdom

Anthony Joshua LOSES his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles after a UNANIMOUS points defeat

Anthony Joshua's reign as world heavyweight champion was ended and a 'Battle of Britain' against Tyson Fury is in tatters after Oleksandr Usyk claimed a stunning unanimous decision win at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Usyk was giving up three inches in height and another one in reach, as well as nearly 20lbs in weight, but the former undisputed world cruiserweight champion's technical acumen came to the fore in an electric atmosphere in London.

As well as giving up several physical advantages to Joshua, Usyk had to contend with the hostile atmosphere that greeted his entrance to the ring from the more than 62,000 that attended this bout. 

But he retained an intense focus throughout and his combination of speed and almost non-stop movement from an awkward southpaw stance befuddled Joshua, whose right eye became increasingly swollen as the fight wore on after a succession of rapid left hands found their mark.

Joshua was hurt on several occasions, most notably in the final seconds of the fight as a flurry of punches sent the Briton reeling back to the ropes, just about hanging on from the onslaught before being put out of his misery by the judges. 

Joshua finished the bout slumped against the ropes as Usyk looked to seal the fight with a knockout blow. The Ukrainian would later claim his victory was 'nothing special'.   

Anthony Joshua's reign as world heavyweight champion was ended at the Tottenham Hotsput Stadium after a stunning upset by Oleksandr Usyk

The Ukrainian would later claim his victory was 'nothing special' after claiming the WBA, IBF and WBO titles after he was given the nod by all three judges

Scores of 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113 were just reward after a stunning set of 12 rounds from unbeaten Usyk, who claimed the WBA, IBF and WBO titles after he was given the nod by all three judges. 

Joshua, who was obligated to face WBO mandatory challenger Usyk after a bout against Fury fell through earlier this year, seemed accepting of the result when the scores came as he suffered just the second defeat of his career.

Carl Froch, the former super-middleweight world champion, felt Usyk was well worth his victory.

He told BBC Radio Five Live: 'All the boxing purists who know the game, we always knew Oleksandr Usyk could out-perform AJ, out-box him and beat him on points.

'I don't think any of us knew he could do it in such a manner. Towards the end, he took control, then started to beat him up when he didn't need to.

'That was a boxing match and a proper fight, which in the end Oleksandr Usyk was in control of. He deserves every credit.

'Anthony Joshua did his part, he tried to box with him and work the body at time, but it wasn't enough, he simply wasn't good enough.'

Boxing expert Steve Bunce felt the warnings signs were there early on for Joshua.

Joshua was hurt on several occasions, most notably in the final seconds of the fight as a flurry of punches sent the Briton reeling back to the ropes

Anthony Joshua gestures to the crowd after losing on points to Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

The Brit is sent tumbling against the ropes after a devastating punch from Usyk

'It was the very first round, seven seconds in, it was a big left hand,' Bunce said on BBC Radio 5 Live.

'From that point on, there seemed to be doubt - how can there be doubt in the first round?'

New heavyweight champion Usyk reflected on a job well done after out-boxing Joshua.

Oleksandr Usyk lands a strong left hand on Anthony Joshua at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London

As well as giving up several physical advantages to Joshua, Usyk had to contend with the hostile atmosphere that greeted his entrance to the ring from the more than 62,000 that attended this bout

Former British heavyweight champion Dillian Whyte felt Joshua paid a heavy price for not setting the tempo of the contest

'This means a lot for me. The fight went the way I expected it to go. There were moments when Anthony pushed me hard but it was nothing special,' Usyk told Sky Sports Box Office.

'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.'

Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn told BBC Radio 5 Live the camp were 'gutted' at the defeat.

A downbeat Joshua appeared to accept the points decision went against him tonight, as his team bemoaned his 'overthinking'

Former British heavyweight champion Dillian Whyte felt Joshua paid a heavy price for not setting the tempo of the contest.

'I said if Joshua tried to box he was always going to lose,' Whyte told BBC Radio 5 Live.

'If he had come out and bullied him and pushed the pace and let his hands go he could have knocked him out in the first even round.

'But he came out and was being too negative he seemed like a gun shy fighter. You are the bigger man, have a go.

'I don't know, he lacked ambition in the ring there tonight.

'The first round, Usyk landed the first strong blow and Joshua was a negative fighter. He got tagged with a left and he was worried the whole time.'

Whyte will next face Otto Wallin on October 30 at the O2, but vowed he would have a 'shoot-out' with Usyk if ever given an opportunity.

He added: 'I have to go through Wallin first, after we will see.

'But I tell you what, I will not be losing to an overall decision like that, I can tell you that now.

'I will go out and I will have a shoot-out - if I get knocked out, I get knocked out, but I will have a shoot-out, I am not getting out boxed over 12 rounds like that, no chance.'

Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn told BBC Radio 5 Live the camp were 'gutted' at the defeat.

'We have obviously been here before, but this time we are here against a pound-for-pound great fighter,' Hearn said.

'The (Andy) Ruiz defeat was difficult to take because it was a shock to the system.

'This is one we knew could happen if he didn't get it right, and he didn't get it right.

'I don't think AJ boxed a great fight tonight, Usyk boxed an excellent fight.

'It was all the things we worried about in the fight before, the over-thinking, trying to stand and box with him, and he took too many shots early.

'Usyk went through the gears and was a bit more aggressive than I thought he was going to be. He was the deserved winner tonight.'

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