Oleksandr Usyk Stuns Tyson Fury to Become Boxing's Undisputed Heavyweight Champion

Oleksandr Usyk defeated Tyson Fury by split decision to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion in the four-belt era. Get round-by-round analysis, fighter reactions, and expert insights on this historic boxing match.

Oleksandr Usyk Stuns Tyson Fury to Become Boxing's Undisputed Heavyweight Champion
Photo by Richard Pelham/Getty Images

In a shocking upset that will reverberate through the boxing world for years, Oleksandr Usyk defeated Tyson Fury by split decision on Saturday night in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. With the victory, Usyk became the first undisputed heavyweight champion in the four-belt era, cementing his place among the all-time greats.

The fight was a clash of styles from the opening bell. Usyk, a master tactician with lightning-quick reflexes, darted in and out of range, peppering Fury's body with precise shots. Fury, meanwhile, sought to use his size and strength to impose his will on the smaller man. In the early rounds, Fury successfully trapped Usyk in the corner and taunted him, but Usyk's movement and speed kept him out of serious trouble.

As the fight wore on, Fury began to find his rhythm. In the middle rounds, he unleashed a devastating barrage of uppercuts to Usyk's midsection, causing the Ukrainian to wince in pain. A series of right hands upstairs in the 6th round badly hurt Usyk, leaving him staggering around the ring on wobbly legs. At that point, it seemed like only a matter of time before Fury would score the knockout.

But Usyk showed the heart of a champion. He came roaring back in the second half of the fight, using his superior conditioning and technique to outwork a tiring Fury. The turning point came in the 9th round when Usyk uncorked a monstrous left hook that sent Fury crashing to the canvas. The Brit rose on unsteady legs as the referee administered a count but was saved by the bell before Usyk could finish him off.

Usyk continued to press his advantage down the stretch, snapping Fury's head back with blistering combinations. Both men were cut and bleeding as the final bell sounded, but it was Usyk who had done enough to secure the victory.

The judges' scorecards told the story 115-112, 114-113, and 113-114, a split decision favouring the Ukrainian.

After the fight, a defiant Fury disagreed with the judge's decision. "I believe I won the fight," he said, blood streaming down his face. "His country is at war, so people are siding with Ukraine. It's one of the daftest decisions in boxing history, but I'll be back."

Usyk, overwhelmed with emotion, wept tears of joy as he addressed the crowd. "I want to thank my team, my family, and my country," he said. "This is a great, great day for Ukraine. I am ready for a rematch with Tyson Fury whenever he wants it."

The boxing community was quick to react to the stunning result. UFC star Conor McGregor called on social media, advising Fury to avoid an immediate rematch and instead face fellow Brit Anthony Joshua. Promoter Eddie Hearn admitted that while it was a close fight, he felt Usyk had done enough to deserve the decision.

On Twitter and Reddit, video clips of the 9th-round knockdown went viral as fans debated the decision. Some called it a robbery and felt Fury had done enough to win, while others hailed Usyk's performance as a masterclass in boxing technique. Memes depicting Fury's shocked reaction to the final scorecards proliferated across social media timelines.

Looking ahead, all eyes will now turn to a contracted rematch clause, with Fury and Usyk set to do it again in October.

Can Fury make the necessary adjustments to reclaim his titles, or will Usyk again prove that skills pay the bills at the elite level of the sport?

After delivering a bona fide Fight of the Year contender in their first meeting, one thing is certain: anticipation for the rematch will be at a fever pitch.

For now, though, the boxing world can only marvel at the historic nature of Usyk's achievement. In becoming the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis in 1999, the Ukrainian has firmly established himself as one of the greatest fighters of his generation.

His place in the pantheon of all-time greats is secure, and his legacy will endure long after the final bell has sounded on his remarkable career.