Usyk becomes the first undisputed heavyweight champion of the four-belt era

The Ukrainian's victory over "The Gypsy King" also sees him become the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis reigned supreme in November 1999

Oleksandr Usyk (22-0, 14 KOs) etched his name into boxing folklore on Saturday (18 May), becoming the first undisputed heavyweight champion of the four-belt era (established in 2007) at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The Ukrainian southpaw defeated Tyson Fury (34-1, 24 KOs) in a dramatic split-decision victory, handing “The Gypsy King” his first professional loss in a career spanning 16 years.

Usyk now joins the pantheon of undisputed heavyweight champions, names synonymous with boxing history: Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, Floyd Patterson, Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, and Mike Tyson.

This victory also marks a significant moment, as he becomes the first undisputed champion since Lennox Lewis reigned supreme in November 1999.

The “Ring of Fire” bout, as it was dubbed, saw Usyk dominate the early rounds before Fury, known for his unorthodox style, found his rhythm in the fourth.

Fury employed showmanship alongside powerful body shots, but Usyk weathered the storm, reminding the crowd of his own punching prowess.

The tide definitively turned in the eighth, with many believing the Ukrainian’s relentless pressure would force a stoppage. The ninth round offered the fight’s defining moment—a thunderous left hook from Usyk sent Fury reeling into a corner, prompting a knockdown call right before the bell. A visibly shaken Fury struggled to mount a consistent attack thereafter.

While a rematch is reportedly in the works for October, it may not be for all four belts. Usyk is expected to vacate the IBF heavyweight title after not facing mandatory challenger Filip Hrgovic.

This means Usyk’s reign as undisputed champion will be short-lived, with the potential Fury rematch holding only the WBC, WBA, and WBO titles on the line.

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