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Oleksandr Usyk has secured victory over Tyson Fury to become the new undisputed world heavyweight boxing champion, marking the sport’s first unified heavyweight titleholder in 25 years.

Despite an aggressive start from Fury, Usyk’s gradual dominance culminated in Fury’s first career defeat, saved only by the bell in the ninth round. With this historic win, Ukraine’s Usyk joins the ranks of legendary champions like Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson.

The 37-year-old fighter, who briefly served as a soldier following the Russian invasion, sees this victory as an immense opportunity for himself and his country. Fury, however, believes he won the majority of the rounds and vows to return stronger.

The judges’ split decision in favor of Usyk (115-112, 114-113) reflects the intensity of the bout. With this triumph, Usyk extends his undefeated professional record to 22-0, while Fury’s record stands at 34-1-1.

With the win, the former undisputed cruiserweight champion can legitimately claim to be the best of this heavyweight era, although a rematch expected in October could provide another twist.

“It is a big opportunity for me, for my family, for my country,” said Usyk, 37, who briefly served as a soldier after the Russian invasion.

“It’s a great time, a great day,” he said, adding that he was “ready for a rematch”.

Fury called it a “fantastic fight with Oleksandr”.

“I believe I won that fight, I believe he won a few of the rounds, but I won the majority of them,” he said.

“You know his country is at war, so people are siding with the country at war but make no mistake, I won that fight in my opinion and I will be back.”

Amidst the backdrop of conflict in Ukraine, Usyk’s victory was celebrated as a symbol of resilience by President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The fight, witnessed by sporting icons like Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar, showcased the contrasting styles of the two fighters, highlighting Usyk’s relentless pursuit and Fury’s agility.

Usyk’s journey from dominating the amateur scene to unifying the cruiserweight belts and now conquering the heavyweight division solidifies his status as one of boxing’s greats.

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