Victorious Usyk: I was told not to KO Joshua

Oleksandr Usyk says he was advised by his trainer not to knock out Anthony Joshua in the world heavyweight title clash on Saturday night.

Usyk beat Joshua by unanimous decision after a sensational performance to claim the IBF, WBA and WBO belts at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in front of more than 60,000 fans.

“I had no objective to knock him out because my trainer, in my corner, pushed me not to do that,” Usyk said after.

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Anthony Joshua vs Oleksander Usyk, IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO Heavyweight World Title, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London..25 September 2021.Picture By Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing..
Image: Usyk hurt Joshua in the third round

“In the beginning I hit him hard and tried to knock him out.

“But then my trainer said: ‘Just stop, and do your job’.”

Usyk hurt Joshua in the third round with an accurate left hand, caused substantial swelling around his eye, then came close to a 12th-round stoppage.

But he warned: “You didn’t see the best Usyk. I can be much better.”

Anthony Joshua vs Oleksander Usyk, IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO Heavyweight World Title, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London..25 September 2021.Picture By Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing..
Image: Joshua’s second reign was ended by Usyk

Usyk reflected on becoming only the third boxer ever to become a world champion at cruiserweight and heavyweight: “This means a lot to me.

“The fight went exactly the way I expected it to go.

“There were a couple of moments where Anthony pushed me hard. But nothing special.”

Anthony Joshua vs Oleksander Usyk, IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO Heavyweight World Title, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London..25 September 2021.Picture By Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing..
Image: Usyk is the third boxer to win world titles at cruiser and heavyweight

Usyk is now undefeated in 19 after winning an Olympic gold medal. He was undisputed at cruiserweight and is only missing Tyson Fury’s WBC belt to match that accomplishment at heavyweight.

Vitali Klitschko, Usyk’s fellow Ukrainian and a former heavyweight champion, said from ringside: “Excellent fight. Very clever. Oleksandr did a perfect job.

“After Wladimir Klitschko he is the second heavyweight champion to take [more than one] belt.”

Vasiliy Lomachenko, the pound-for-pound great, said: “It was a great performance and a historic fight. Now, he is in history.”

Watch Joshua vs Usyk repeats on Sunday at 8am and 3pm on Sky Sports Box Office. Book it via your Sky remote or book it online here. Non-Sky TV subscribers can book and watch it here.

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