Oleksandr Usyk becomes the first heavyweight since Mike Tyson to be ranked boxing's pound-for-pound best

Oleksandr Usyk (left), Mike Tyson (right)
Oleksandr Usyk (left), Mike Tyson (right)

Oleksandr Usyk is the new Ring Magazine pound-for-pound king following Canelo Alvarez's defeat to Dmitry Bivol last Saturday.

The Ukrainian is the first heavyweight to lay claim to the position since Mike Tyson was the undisputed champion in his prime more than 30 years ago.

Michael Benson of talkSPORT tweeted about the change in rankings.

Prior to climbing his way to the top of the heavyweight division, Oleksandr Usyk’s cruiserweight run was one of the most impressive achievements of any fighter in modern boxing history. Within the space of 15 fights, the Ukrainian became the undisputed WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO Champion.

Most notably, Usyk caught the eye of boxing enthusiasts. He managed to achieve this not only through his quick rise to the top but also his high boxing IQ. The 35-year-old has near perfect footwork and seems to toy with his opponents.

Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk - Heavyweight Title Fight
Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk - Heavyweight Title Fight

As a heavyweight, he beat Anthony Joshua in September 2021 in a major upset to claim the WBA, IBF and WBO Titles. A rematch between the two is rumored to take place in July. It's hard to see the current pound-for-pound king losing his status anytime soon. He is easily one of the most impressive competitors of the current generation.

Would Oleksandr Usyk win against Tyson Fury?

When you look at the Ukrainian's confidence inside the ring, it's hard to see him losing against anybody. However, there is the small matter of a certain Tyson Fury. The Briton is without a doubt the greatest heavyweight of the current era.

Usyk's ability to control distance and use his sublime footwork to move in and out of range is what sets him apart from most of his competitors. However, 'The Gypsy King' also doesn't move like a typical heavyweight and possesses amazing footwork as well. Furthermore, the Mancunian stands at a whopping 6'9" so he will have a significant reach advantage over Usyk in a potential fight.

Ultimately, in boxing – and more so the heavyweight class – it is impossible to be certain about a result. While Fury will start as the favorite in a potential matchup, the showdown for the undisputed status is something that fans will want to see. If the pound-for-pound king can win his rematch against 'AJ', we may see Fury come out of retirement to give the boxing world a fantastic fight.

Watch Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk fight highlights here (via DAZN Boxing YouTube):


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Edited by Aziel Karthak