Oleksandr Usyk retained his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight world titles, along with adding the Ring Magazine belt to his mantle, as he defeated Anthony Joshua by split decision in a bruising fight in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Everyone was intrigued to see what Joshua would do now he had changed up his training team and the improvements were clear to see. Usyk danced around the ring as he is known to do, Joshua made his game plan clear from the get-go as he was targetting Usyk's body, something he did not do in the first fight.
Joshua looked to up the intensity as the bout went on and even switched up his shots as he looked to land to the head of Usyk. Joshua would finally get a foothold in the fight good and proper when he was able to start roughing up Usyk in round eight. What followed was a round that Joshua very nearly got his dream victory as he hurt Usyk on a few occasions throughout the round, so much so that Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn ran almost the full perimeter of the ring to celebrate. Usyk would however bounce back with a vengeance in round ten as it was roles reversed as AJ was now hurt, with Usyk looking to pile more pressure on.
The championship rounds saw Joshua go for broke, but all his hard work would be matched by Usyk, as Joshua just couldn't manage to pin Usyk down as the pair went toe-to-toe right up until the final bell. The pair embraced at the climax of the bout as we awaited the judges' decision. The cards would read 115-113 in favour of Joshua, with the other two cards reading 115-113 and 116-112 in favour of Usyk, confirming a successful world title defence by split decision for the Ukranian.