Usyk keeps heavyweight boxing titles, beating Joshua in rematch bout
Oleksandr Usyk dedicates victory to native Ukraine after split-decision
World heavyweight boxing champion Oleksandr Usyk retained his titles Saturday in a split decision rematch against Anthony Joshua.
Following 12 rounds in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah, Ukrainian boxer Usyk, 35, beat Joshua, 32, from Britain 113-115, 115-113 and 116-112.
Nicknamed “The Cat,” Usyk kept his International Boxing Federation (IBF), International Boxing Organization (IBO), World Boxing Association (WBA) and the World Boxing Organization (WBO) heavyweight titles.
Joshua lost his temper after Usyk won the match and threw down his belts to protest the decision.
Usyk, who is 20-0 with 13 knockout victories, previously beat Joshua in a unanimous decision at London's Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September 2021.
Following his triumph Saturday, Usyk thanked everyone who prayed for him.
"I devote this victory to my family, my country, my team, to all the military defending this country (Ukraine). Thank you so much," he said.
In the ring, Usyk and Joshua held a large Ukraine flag to show solidarity with the war-hit country.
Usyk previously joined the Ukrainian army amid his country's war with Russia.
But he left Ukraine to prepare for his rematch against Joshua, which was delayed because of Usyk's military service.
Russia launched a war Feb. 24 against its western neighbor.
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