Oleksandr Usyk defeated Anthony Joshua once more to maintain his WBA, IBF, and WBO heavyweight world belts in Saudi Arabia.
Usyk used his usual evasive movement to hit a few straight lefts in the opening round of the bout, while Joshua blasted off right hands to the body. In the second round, AJ seemed tentative, fearful of his cunning opponent’s potential counterpunches.
However, he once more managed to locate a target for a pair of powerful body shots. A similar pattern followed in round three, with Joshua picking his moments to throw powerful body blows while Usyk appeared to score marginally more blows.
The fight gained momentum as the Ukrainian replied in the fourth round as the British fighter started to feel more confident in landing accurate strikes. Joshua maintained a steady tempo despite Usyk picking up the pace during a few engrossing exchanges.
A similar pattern followed in round three, with Joshua picking his moments to throw powerful body blows while Usyk appeared to score marginally more blows. A halt in the action occurred in round five as AJ delivered a low punch to his opponent that caused him to recoil in pain.
Both guys scored with strong body shots for the remainder of the practice. Similar to how it occurred after their initial encounter, Joshua’s right eye began to gradually enlarge during their sixth session, which was hopeful for Usyk.
The Ukrainian appeared to be getting into his stride as he began to carve out a spot in the battle for solid combinations.
For the first time in any of their fights, he fired at Usyk during this one, appearing to truly worry him.
Starting the eighth, Usyk responded viciously of his own. This time, the victor accelerated and began chasing after his rival. Joshua instantly blasted Usyk with his enormous right fist.
Surprisingly, the Ukrainian took the blow and kept walking; as the bell rang, he promptly put his foot forward and the British looked injured.
AJ didn’t give up and, in round 11, used a strong body blow to momentarily alter the fight’s direction.
With a succession of quick-draw, exact combinations, Usyk was able to take back control of the situation.