Professional boxer Oleksandr Usyk has won the undisputed heavyweight crown. For the first time since Lennox Lewis 25 years ago, the Ukrainian holds all major world titles in the heavy men’s weight class. The 37-year-old defeated the previously unbeaten Briton Tyson Fury on points (115:112, 113:114, 114:113) in the twelve-round unification fight on Sunday night.

“It was such a great opportunity for me, for my family and my country. Glory to Ukraine,” said Usyk, who dedicated his victory to Ukrainian soldiers fighting Russia. Usyk got revenge in the ring.

After a thrilling duel and a strong fight comeback by Usyk in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, he now holds the world titles of the important associations IBF, WBO, WBA and WBC, as well as those of the IBO. Fury had defended the WBC belt.

Big comeback from Usyk

In front of the eyes of former world champions Wladimir Klitschko and Anthony Joshua and the football superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar, who are employed in Saudi Arabia, the Ukrainian nicknamed “the cat” wanted to rely on his speed advantages – against Fury, who is 15 centimeters taller. But the Ukrainian couldn’t use his mobility well enough in the first half of the fight.

At the spectacle, advertised as “Ring of Fire”, the eccentric Fury started with his usual provocative games. Usyk remained unfazed and dealt many hits to the body. But the 2.06 meter tall Briton put his enormous punching power and reach to good use, hitting Usyk with his strong right fist. The brutal uppercuts from Fury, who dominated at times, took a massive toll on the Ukrainian. However, in the eighth round Usyk came back and gave his opponent a bloody nose with clever punch combinations. In the ninth round, Usyk completely turned the fight around and brought Fury to the brink of an early defeat.

Both professionals went into the duel undefeated. Usyk took his world title from Anthony Joshua in 2021 and successfully defended it against the Brit in 2022. In 2015, Fury surprisingly defeated Wladimir Klitschko and became world champion. He later renounced the titles, came back in 2018 and won the WBC title against Deontay Wilder.

The duel, which had to be postponed several times due to financial disputes between the two camps and Fury’s injuries, was previously described by many experts as the boxing event of the century. Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield last had two memorable unification fights in 1999.

Kabayel is about to fight for the World Cup

From a German perspective, things were already very busy before the mega duel: heavyweight boxer Agit Kabayel is about to face his long-awaited first world championship fight. In Riyadh, a few hours before the duel between Fury and Usyk, the Bochum man defeated the previously unbeaten Cuban Frank Sanchez in the World Cup eliminator. He deservedly sent his chanceless opponent to the ground with a knockout after seven rounds. Kabayel won his 25th professional victory and remains undefeated. The 31-year-old is the next mandatory challenger to the WBC heavyweight world champion.

“I’m very happy, I worked hard for this opportunity,” said Kabayel. “I saw that he wasn’t good in the ring and had no conditioning.” His trainer predicted that his opponent’s stamina would be exhausted after six rounds.

Kabayel, currently the best German heavyweight, didn’t get off to a good start in the first round. After that he got better and better. His opponent seemed unimaginative. In the seventh round, Sanchez went down and was counted out. It continued for him for a short time. But then Kabayel ended the fight with a hit to the liver. In December, Kabayel impressively defeated the previously unbeaten Russian Arslanbek Makhmudow by technical knockout. In 2023 he became European heavyweight champion.