Results of Oleksandr Usyk vs. Anthony Joshua 2: Usyk wins championship rounds to keep his heavyweight championships

 Results of Oleksandr Usyk vs. Anthony Joshua 2: Usyk wins championship rounds to keep his heavyweight championships

Oleksandr Usyk defended his IBF, WBA, and WBO heavyweight titles with a split-decision victory over Anthony Joshua in Jeddah.

Fighting 11 months after their first meeting at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, when Usyk dethroned Joshua gloriously, each brought increased fervor to their rivalry, which reached a thrilling peak during rounds nine and ten as the action ebbed back and forth.

By that point, Usyk's spectacular talents had essentially nullified Joshua's savvy body approach and opened up a lead that was confirmed by scores of 116-112 and 115-113 on two scorecards. Judge Glenn Feldman scored it Joshua 115-113, resulting in a perplexing split judgment.

Usyk cried tears in front of his patriotic Ukrainian flag as his victory was revealed, having joined the struggle against the Russian invasion in his homeland between these two seismic victories against Joshua.

The 35-year-old now now has the Ring Magazine title, which Tyson Fury had until his recent retirement. Usyk's focus will now go to the WBC title, which the unbeaten Briton still retains despite his standing as a modern great.

Joshua finished the evening with an unpredictable and profanity-laced, albeit mostly sentimentally sound, talk in the center of the ring that jarringly stole Usyk's rightful spotlight. However, it was the outcome of what must have been a torturous encounter against a boxing genius.

Following his hesitant defeat in London, Joshua sought to put his new trainer, Robert Garcia, to use. In round two, his work on Usyk's midsection had a genuinely Mexican flavor.

Looking for a replica of the rapid retaliation he delivered following his debut loss against Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019, Joshua managed to take the center of the ring and push Usyk to move at an uncomfortable pace.

Even the most liberal assessment of what an improved Joshua brought to the ring was things being all-square at the halfway point, by which time tiredness set in and the challenger wasted too much time idling at mid-range absorbing quicksilver combinations.

Usyk appeared to be in command until round nine, when Joshua found huge hooks to the head to complement his body work. The champion appeared disorganized as he made a left on the retreat, but his next session reaction, peppering Joshua fiercely from all sides, was that of a master.

Round 10 was mercilessness in endless motion. Joshua thudded a strong right hand to Usyk's jaw in the middle of it, but it hardly registered. The clinic continued in the last six minutes as Joshua did everything to no effect and Usyk danced and charmed his way to an emotional win.

Oleksandr Usyk vs. Anthony Joshua 2 round-by-round scores and highlights

Round 1: begins with fencing jabs from the orthodox and southpaw stances. Joshua is striving for positivity and the right to the body. He doesn't use the right too much, but in the closing minute, Usyk hits a pair of precise shots through the guard, which is probably enough to win the session.

Unofficial scoring from SN: Usyk 10-9 Joshua.

Round 2: Anthony, you've got yourself a Mexican trainer. Usyk is known for his quicksilver pot-shotting, but Joshua opted for a body attack, with a left hook and then a right uppercut to the solar plexus being particularly eye-catching/

Unofficial scorecard from SN: Usyk 19-19 Joshua.

Round 3: Joshua needs to relax his grip more, which is easier said than done in the face of Usyk's constant motion. He momentarily clinches him in the center of the ring, then loads up on the uppercut, which misses. A solid jab followed by a right upstairs. Joshua has made a better start, but he's still having to work hard, and Usyk won't be too at this stage.

Unofficial scorecard from SN: Usyk 28-29 Joshua.

Round 4: Both Joshua's left jab upstairs anst solid blow of the match, and Joshua counters with another sligd right to the body are effective. Now Usyk hits his mohtly off-target uppercut. Usyk, of course, deals with fractions. Joshua replies with a fury at the bell as the champion finds a home with his backhand left.

Unofficial scorecard from SN: Usyk 37-39 Joshua.

Round 5: Things are heating up in the fifth, and Joshua certainly needs to move his head more. He returns to the body, and the referee rules it low. Usyk, on the other hand, thought it was borderline. Joshua goes to the body again after countering a sloppy punch over the top.

Unofficial scoring from SN: Usyk 47-48 Joshua.

Round 6: Joshua has some marking around his right eye, and he's standing at mid-range and being picked off a bit, like he did in the prior session. But now there's another bodily attack. Usyk returns, throwing several sharp punches in the center of the ring. Joshua has done well here, but I've had it all squared away at the midway point. The challenger is concerned because Usyk has just completed his recognisance procedure and is now eager to start to work.

Unofficial scores from SN: Usyk 57-57 Joshua.

Round 7: We've returned to the absurdity of this canvas. Joshua shrugs off a slip and follows it up with a beautiful right hand. The Brit is retaining his shape nicely, but Usyk has some exquisite feet and hands and scores several scoring strokes and spins off. Joshua does not feel as outmatched as he did in London, but the champion has begun to bank rounds.

Unofficial SN score: Usyk 67-66 Joshua.

Round 8: Despite his efforts to maintain an unpleasant pace, Joshua was second to his feet there. The ring is being re-towelled so he may relax a little longer. Both men stumble and wobble again in the center of the ring. Joshua hits his best shot of the fight, a body left. He requires more of that. As Joshua's right misses, Usyk returns to the balls of his feet. There isn't much left of Usyk anymore. Joshua hits the body with a combo. That was fantastic work, and it must be demoralizing to watch Usyk back in the ring, gliding balletically and pinging through an assortment of headshots.

Unofficial SN score: Usyk 77-75 Joshua.

Round 9: Joshua approaches the body before landing a pair of lefts upstairs. Is Usyk slowing down? He starts to work in the center ring and temporarily confines Usyk by the ropes. Joshua is going all-in! Usyk is on the run, but he throws a left hook. That was Joshua's best round out of the 21 they'd shared.

Unofficial scoreboard from SN: Usyk 86-85 Joshua

Round 10: Usyk made a quick start to the round. A perfectly timed right. Then a left, and it's Joshua's time to take the hit. The challenger is handling them effectively, but did he use up all of his fuel in the last session? HOLD ON! Joshua starts off strong. Wallop. Usyk's recovery abilities are incredible, and he's running through those spectacular combinations again. Joshua seems exhausted. The champion misses with a powerful uppercut. Joshua finds a reaction, but he's being pummeled from all sides. A brutal round of heavyweight boxing.

Unofficial SN score: Usyk 96-94 Joshua.

Round 11: Usyk appears to be aware that the time has come. We already knew about the feet, hands, and overall intelligence, but now he's received some heavy leather from a huge puncher out for vengeance. The majority of the action now appears to be destined to take place on Joshua's chin. A right to the body appears to affect Usyk for a moment, but he quickly recovers. Joshua makes a costly error. He appears disorganized in there, but anyone who questions this man's heart or dismisses him as a publicity stunt should have a chat with themselves. AJ is on the verge of greatness, but short of a final-round miracle, it will not be enough.

Unofficial scorecard from SN: Usyk 106-103 Joshua.

Round 12: Joshua is bringing everything, but Usyk has every tool you'll ever need in his toolbox. Joshua's legs appear heavy, but he discovers a clipping left hook. They've done very little holding, but now they're grappling. Both guys have suffered as a result of this. Joshua gets caught on the way in and hits a strong right, but the theme of the second half of the fight, and the crucial story, has been him needing four or five to land a decent one. The final bell rings as Joshua wrestles Usyk. In the center of the ring, the two men share a moment of prayer and thought. They are both an absolute credit in a sport that frequently disgraces itself, such as not having an adequate canvas for a world heavyweight title match.

Unofficial scoring from SN: Usyk 116-112 Joshua.

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