Anthony Joshua Applauds Oleksandr Usyk's Victory Over Tyson Fury, Acknowledging the Right Man Won in a Historic Bout

Anthony Joshua has expressed his approval of the judges' decision as Oleksandr Usyk defeated Tyson Fury in a closely contested match to become the undisputed heavyweight champion. Usyk, who now holds the distinction of being the first undisputed heavyweight champion since 2000, won the bout with scorecards reading 115-112, 113-114, and 114-111 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

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Joshua, who has previously faced Usyk twice, was quick to voice his support for the outcome. Speaking to TNT Sports immediately after the fight, Joshua unequivocally named Usyk as the winner when asked for his opinion. He reiterated this stance in conversations with his promoter Eddie Hearn, who shared Joshua's sentiments publicly.

Eddie Hearn provided further insight into the fight's dynamics, noting that while the scoring was subjective, he believed Usyk’s victory was well-earned. Hearn acknowledged Fury's strong start, particularly in the first six rounds, but emphasized Usyk's remarkable performance, especially during the ninth round where he significantly hurt Fury. Despite nearly being stopped by the referee, Fury managed to continue, showcasing his own resilience.

The ninth round was pivotal, with Usyk landing several powerful punches that had Fury reeling and almost resulted in a knockdown. Hearn suggested that the referee could have justifiably stopped the fight at that moment, highlighting Usyk's dominance. The bout ended with a split decision in favor of Usyk, a result that both Joshua and Hearn deemed fair.

Joshua's reaction underscores the high regard in which he holds Usyk, praising the Ukrainian's skill and determination. Hearn echoed this sentiment, recognizing Usyk as one of the best fighters of his generation due to his ability to overcome significant physical disadvantages against larger opponents like Fury.

Despite the loss, Joshua's future plans remain unaffected. He is focused on regaining the heavyweight title and is open to facing the winner of the upcoming Deontay Wilder vs. Zhilei Zhang fight. The potential rematch between Fury and Usyk looms large, but for now, Joshua and his team are plotting their path back to the top of the heavyweight division.

As the boxing world absorbs the implications of this historic bout, Joshua's respect for Usyk's victory highlights the sportsmanship and recognition of excellence that define the sport.