Oleksandr Usyk walked into enemy territory and took down hometown hero Anthony Joshua to become unified heavyweight world champion. Usyk topped Joshua with a tremendous performance that resulted in a unanimous decision victory over the defending champion.
Usyk, a former undisputed cruiserweight champion, caught Joshua a number of times and kept him on his toes with his slick, agile movement and strong jabs. Neither fighter hit the canvas, but Joshua was rattled a number of times throughout the fight.
The boxing world was impressed by Usyk's victory, and the scene of nearly 70,000 fans created a memorable fight environment.
Yay! They got it right! I'm screaming! Congratulations @usykaa! Beautiful show! Beautiful boxing! Ring intelligence won this one!— Rosie Perez (@rosieperezbklyn) September 25, 2021
Continued respect to @anthonyjoshua. @DAZNBoxing @MatchroomBoxing #JoshuaUsyk
Boxing 101 - Usyk! #JoshuaUsyk— Lennox Lewis, CBE, CM (@LennoxLewis) September 25, 2021
Former boxing trainer and current ESPN analyst Teddy Atlas congratulated Usyk for his victory and even gave the judges a nod for grading the fight correctly.
Congratulations to Usyk, he did what I had predicted he would, winning the Heavyweight Title as Holyfield did after being Cruiser Wt. Champion. And also Congratulations to the judges, you didn't screw it up! #JoshuaUsyk #joshuavsusyk— Teddy Atlas (@TeddyAtlasReal) September 25, 2021
Andre Ward, a former lightweight heavyweight champ, also showed love to Usyk, even explaining how the Ukrainian boxer won his bout with Joshua.
Usyk won the fight going away !— Andre S.O.G. Ward (@andreward) September 25, 2021
More people from the boxing world chimed in on Usyk's upset. Shawn Porter, who has 31 knockouts on his résumé, enjoyed the action, summarizing it in a three-word tweet. Danny "Swift" Garcia, a champion boxer in two divisions, offered high praise to Usyk after his exceptional performance.
What a fight!!! #JoshuaUsyk— ShowtimeShawn Porter (@ShowtimeShawnP) September 25, 2021
Usyk is a master boxer.— Danny 'Swift' Garcia (@DannySwift) September 25, 2021
NBA star Damian Lillard was active on Twitter throughout the fight, and he believes Usyk will be an even tougher match for Joshua the next time they fight -- if that happens.
Rematch gone be even tougher for AJ. Usyk gone get more comfortable at this weight and he gone know AJ better... lookin forward to it— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) September 25, 2021
Pro boxing trainer Joe Gallagher knows a thing or two about the sport, and he made sure to congratulate Usyk for what he called a "class performance."
Take a bow @usykaa what a class performance 👏👏👏👏— Joe Gallagher (@JoeG) September 25, 2021
Usyk already has a fighter who wants to challenge him for his new belts. Joe Joyce, a British boxer who is the WBO International and European champion, called out Usyk shortly after the fight, saying that he wants his shot at the championships.
Congrats to Usyk. Now I want my shot. I wont let him breathe. #THEJUGGERNAUT 👊🏾— Joe Joyce (@JoeJoyceBoxing) September 25, 2021
Oscar De La Hoya sent a message to both fighters on social media, congratulating Usyk on his victory, and encouraging Joshua to keep working despite the defeat.
Even though he was on the losing side of this title fight, Joshua was in good spirits postmatch. He thanked the London crowd for its support and aims to stay positive until his next opportunity arises.
Keep positive even if the world's crumbling in front of you! London I love you & thank you each and every time! pic.twitter.com/GBgF7e5hcm— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyjoshua) September 25, 2021