Oleksandr Usyk defeated Anthony Joshua for the second time to defend his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO world heavyweight titles, in a split decision victory.
The fight was not as much of a total domination for Usyk has their first meeting had been, but the undefeated champion was still easily the winner.
Joshua certainly looked a lot better than he had 11 months prior but Usyk proved why he is one of the best pound for pound boxers in the world right now.
The Ukrainian would have beaten most heavyweights on the night, as his speed of hands, footwork and fitness proved just too much for the former two time champion.
At the bell, Usyk fell to his knees after an emotional few months in which he has fought for his country in the war with Russia.
Usyk and Joshua had fought for the first time in September last year, with the Ukrainian coming out on top at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The former cruiserweight champion completely dominated in his performance, with fans of the British boxer baffled that he didn’t seem to try and use his height and weight advantage.
The rematch looked in some doubt when the undefeated 35-year-old joined the frontline in his home country to fight the invasion by Russia.
However, they eventually agreed to the second fight in Saudi Arabia, and, with the retirement of Tyson Fury, it came with the addition of the Ring heavyweight title, to go along with the four belts.
After a tentative first couple of minutes the pair then exchanged shots, with Usyk finding Joshua’s head and the challenger landing to the body.
In the second round, Joshua, the taller man, attempted to be more aggressive and let his right hand go, but it was still tough to find the target against the agile Usyk, who was able to land his jab quite regularly.
The third round was a closer one, and may have even gone the way of the Brit, but he was still not quite managing to let his hands go in the face of Usyk’s constant movement.
Before the fight there was talk that Joshua was going to test his opponent with shots to the body, somewhere he may have been considered weaker.
That increasingly became his target in the fourth and fifth rounds, with the Ukrainian even getting a time out for a low shot in the fifth, but Usyk still had plenty of his own moments.
The pace massively slowed at the start of the sixth, AJ landed some shots when he eventually tried speeding things up but as usual his opponent once again landed himself.
Just past the halfway mark and, whilst the rounds were always close, it felt like the champion was pulling further and further ahead of his opponents by winning most of the three minute stanzas.
The speed of both hands and feet from Usyk were causing his opponent all sorts of issues, and even when AJ landed a good body shot in the eighth he wasn’t able to keep him pinned down long enough to take advantage.
Suddenly the fight really came alive in the ninth as Joshua found Usyk’s body early on and then sprang into action late in the rang with several good combinations, pushing his opponent against the ropes and around the ring.
Having taken the best that his opponent had to offer, Usyk came flying out of the gates in the first half of the 10th round and AJ was holding on.
However, Joshua then landed a huge shot and staggered the champ back onto the ropes himself, before Usyk showed great recovery to absolutely dominate the end of the round.
After more of the same at the start of the 11th, the Brit once again landed a good body shot, but it was a repeat of the rest of the fight as Usyk again shook it off to take the round.
AJ suffered just the second defeat of his career against the Ukrainian last September and has stated that “everything is at stake” as he aims to take back his belts.