Anthony Joshua’s world heavyweight championship reign ended by Oleksandr Usyk | UK News

Anthony Joshua’s reign as world heavyweight champion has ended and hopes of a unification showdown with fellow Brit Tyson Fury scuppered, after Oleksandr Usyk claimed a stunning unanimous decision win at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Ukrainian Usyk won on a points decision after 12 rounds at the north London stadium, meaning he takes Joshua’s IBF, WBA and WBO belts.

The 34-year-old became the third man, after Evander Holyfield and David Haye, to win world titles at cruiserweight then heavyweight.

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Joshua has lost his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles

Joshua finished the bout slumped against the ropes as his smaller foe handed him just the second defeat of his career in front of more than 65,000 boxing fans.

He was hoping to go on to an all-British fight against WBC champion Fury to unify the four belts, but that now looks fanciful.

After his defeat, Joshua tweeted: “Keep positive even if the world’s crumbling in front of you! London I love you & thank you each and every time!”

The judges scored the fight 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113, and Joshua seemed to accept the result as he walked over to Usyk’s corner.

Speaking to Sky Sports Box Office, Usyk said: “This means a lot for me. The fight went the way I expected it to go. There were moments when Anthony pushed me hard but it was nothing special.

“I had no objective to knock him out because my corner pushed me not to do that. In the beginning, I tried to hit him hard, but then I stuck to my job.

Oleksandr Usyk celebrates winning his fight against Anthony Joshua
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Oleksandr Usyk gave a spectacular performance

“The only thing I wanted to do with this fight is to give praise to Jesus Christ.

“I have been working so hard since January in preparation for this fight, it took me half a year and I didn’t see my family for so long.

“I missed seeing them playing. I want to go home and be happy with my family and I’m not thinking about the rematch.”

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn said: “I don’t think AJ boxed a great fight tonight, Usyk boxed an excellent fight.

“It was all the things we worried about in the fight before, the over-thinking, trying to stand and box with him, and he took too many shots early.”

Usyk celebrates winning his fight
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Usyk made a celebratory leap after winning the bout

Joshua was hurt on several occasions during the bout and Hearn told BBC Radio Five Live: “He will go to hospital.

“I don’t know if he has broken his eye socket, it doesn’t look great.

“He said he couldn’t see after the ninth round, obviously he was getting tagged a lot as well.

“His power looked like it had left him, the tank was empty and it was only heart which kept him on his feet in the 12th round.”

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