A 31-year-old Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk became a star at home long ago. His incredible success in sports, charisma and kind sly eyes were bound to make fans love him. Moreover, the army of his fans will continue to grow, as this is just the beginning of his way. He can fight flamboyantly and this time he will face Tony Bellew, one of the most famous British boxers.
Tony Bellew loves the drama. It is not occasional that in his career, there is such a rare for boxing draw, several revanches and wins in outsider status. And it seems like the plot for his first match with David Haye is good enough to make a movie. By the way, Bellew managed to get into a movie too. Moreover, it was a film of Sylvester Stallone, not less! He played the opponent of Adonis Creed in another story about Rocky Balboa.
While Tony was helping Stallone in Hollywood, Usyk was raising his rating and public respect with fights in Kyiv, where he defended the modest title of the Intercontinental Champion of WBO. Due to these victories, Usyk got the opportunity to compete for the championship belt with Tomasz Glowacki. He entered the ring and won one of the most important and life changing fights in his career. Such moments are still waiting for Usyk in his career. We will remind you of the most significant fights of Oleksandr Usyk, which made a "monster" out of him, as Bellew calls him.
Baku 2011, World Championship, Final match vs Teymur Mammadov (Azerbaijan)
After the third place in the World Cup in 2009, Usyk was able to "raise the bar" and reach the 2011 World Cup finals. On the way to the main match of the tournament, the Ukrainian beat Bulgarian Tervel Pulev (brother of Kubrat Pulev, former rival of Klitschko), Russian Artur Beterbiev and Belarusian Siarhei Karneyeu. Teymur Mammadov confronted Usyk in the finals. And if at the beginning of the match, the local favourite was still actively attacking, at the end of the battle, when young Usyk increased speed, Teymur was left with no chances to win.
London 2012, Olympic Games, Boxing Heavy 91kg Final vs Clemente Russo (Italy)
Clemente Russo defeated Usyk at Ollympic Games 2008. 4 years later Olympics draw them together again. This time they fought in Boxing Heavy 91kg Final. A knockdown and several well-aimed blows made Usyk win the men's boxing gold medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The Ukrainian accepted his new status with tears of happiness and a gopak (Ukrainian national cossack dance) – scroll the video to 16:40.
Gdansk 2012, WBO Heavyweight vs Krzysztof Glowacki (Poland)
After the Olympic Games Usyk entertained himself in semiprofessional fights. His victories in six fights helped The Otamans of Ukraine to reach finals at World Series Boxing. In 2013 he had his first professional fight. Usyk dominated Głowacki in Poland on September 17, 2016, damaging Głowacki’s eye early in the fight, largely due to a sharp jab. After 12 rounds, the win propelled Usyk to the top of the division.
2018 Briedis, Riga, fights for WBO and WBC cruiserweight titles vs Mairis Briedis
The memories of this fight are still alive. Becoming a world champion, Usyk received a proposal to participate in the first World Boxing Super Series tournament. In the first fight the Ukrainian defeated Marco Huck. Usyk had to fight with the Latvian Mairis Briedis to get to the finals. A 33 year old Mairis made a good start, preventing Oleksandr Usyk to have the upper hand and make well planted blows. However, Usyk turned up the pressure in the second half, making Briedis lag behind.
All in all Briedis and Usyk had 12 rounds and the judges gave the well-earned victory to the Ukrainian. “These 12 rounds are probably the most difficult I had ever had,” Usyk said after the fight.
Moscow 2018, fight for WBC, WBA, WBO, IBF titles vs Murat Gassiev
This is the main battle in Usyk’s boxing career. The Russian Murat Gassiev is a thinking boxer with a knockout blow. Usyk demonstrated another level of self-control, taking into account the nervous fight with Briedis. The techniques, the speed, number of telling blows, series, combinations – Usyk did everything. Having easily defended the Russian boxer, Usyk became an undisputed cruiserweight champion since, being the first boxer in history to hold all four major world championships at cruiserweight: the WBO title since 2016, the WBC title since January 2018, and the WBA (Super) and IBF titles.