The 35-year-old Ukrainian proved unbeatable during the 12-round contest, maintaining his steely nerve to dominate Joshua with a series of heavy blows. Joshua appeared to break Usyk’s momentum in the ninth round and landed a spell of punches on his opponent, before retreating into defeat.
He was awarded a score of 115-113 from one judge, but Usyk ultimately emerged the stronger contender and earned scores of 115-113 and 116-112 from two judges to retain his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles.
After suffering his second consecutive loss against Usyk, the 32-year-old Briton picked up two of the Ukrainian’s belts, threw them out of the ring and charged towards his dressing room, before returning and taking the microphone to give an impassioned speech.
“If you knew my story, you would understand the passion,” Joshua said, adding of Usyk: “I’m telling you this guy to beat me tonight, maybe I could have done better, but it shows the levels of hard work he must have put in so please give him a round of applause as our heavyweight champion of the world.”