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Usyk defeated Fury: Ukrainian boxer's top 5 victories that shook world

Usyk defeated Fury: Ukrainian boxer's top 5 victories that shook world Photo: Absolute world champion Oleksandr Usyk (

Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk became the undisputed world heavyweight champion after a spectacular victory over Britain's Tyson Fury, adding to his collection of personal achievements in boxing.

Find a brief overview of Usyk's most important victories at the professional level in this RBC-Ukraine compilation.

The Ukrainian boxer debuted in the professional ring in 2013. The Olympic champion's first opponent was the little-known Mexican Felipe Romero, and the fight took place at the Palace of Sports in the capital. At that time and for the next five years, Usyk competed in the cruiserweight division.

In his fifth professional bout, the Ukrainian won his first title – the interim WBO Inter-Continental champion. Usyk donned a truly significant belt in September 2016, defeating Poland's Krzysztof Głowacki by unanimous decision. Thus, the native of Crimea became the full-fledged WBO champion.

It then took Usyk another two years to become the undisputed world cruiserweight champion. Seeing no further advantages in staying in this weight category, the Ukrainian boxer moved on to conquer the heavyweight division. And he achieved his goal in just 5.5 years!

5. Oleksandr Usyk vs. Chazz Witherspoon (2019)

After five years in the cruiserweight division, the Ukrainian decided to try his hand at the heavyweight category. Usyk arranged a fight with France's Carlos Takam but suffered injuries twice. Eventually, the bout was canceled, and a new opponent, Dutch boxer Tyrone Spong, failed a doping test before the fight. As a result, veteran Chazz Witherspoon was called in at the last minute. Usyk dominated throughout the match, delivering dozens of blows and making his heavyweight debut with a technical knockout after the 7th round.

4. Oleksandr Usyk vs. Murat Gassiev (2018)

The Ukrainian boxer tasted absolute glory in the cruiserweight division. But this was a victory of principled significance. Usyk not only defeated the Russian but did so on enemy turf – at Moscow's Olimpiyskiy arena. Usyk methodically outclassed his opponent, leaving Gassiev struggling to stay on his feet for 12 rounds. Yet, in the judges' scorecards, the Russian boxer had no hope. Usyk's superiority was undeniable, solidifying his status as the undisputed world cruiserweight champion.

3. Oleksandr Usyk vs. Tony Bellew (2018)

Before moving up to heavyweight, Usyk faced a tough battle against the Briton. The fight's script unfolded like a genuine thriller. Bellew appeared more effective in the early rounds and led on the judges' scorecards. Usyk had to resort to unconventional tactics. In the 8th round, the Ukrainian landed several successful combinations, pinpointing weaknesses in his opponent's defense. Ultimately, the Ukrainian champion sent Bellew into knockout with a series of blows, propelling himself into the heavyweight division as the victorious underdog.

2. Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk (2021)

In his third bout in the new weight category, Usyk claimed the championship. He entered the ring against another Olympic champion, Joshua, who at the time held the WBA, WBO, IBF, and IBO titles. The Briton was the favorite, but the Ukrainian boxer seized control from the outset. By the final rounds, Joshua was thoroughly worn down and narrowly avoided a knockout. The judges showed no mercy to the champion – all three unanimously awarded the victory to Usyk, setting the stage for his path to undisputed status.

1. Oleksandr Usyk vs. Tyson Fury (2024)

Arguably the toughest fight of the champion's career. Gypsy King proved to be not only endowed with a sense of humor but also extraordinary boxing skills. Momentum swung back and forth several times throughout the bout. The decisive moment came in the 9th round when Usyk caught Fury and sent him to the ropes with a powerful series of blows. The referee gave Fury some leniency, extending the count to ten seconds. However, the knockdown impressed two out of three judges decisively.

Earlier we gathered the key details of Usyk's victory in Saudi Arabia.