Oleksandr Usyk outclassed Anthony Joshua to retain his WBA Super, WBO and IBF Heavyweight titles. He also captured the vacant Ring Magazine Lineal Heavyweight title.
The rematch was a tighter contest than the first, where AJ lost to Usyk via Unanimous Decision, as the pair exchanged blows in a tactical war culminating in a Split-Decision victory for the Ukrainian. With tonight's win, Usyk has not only retained his heavyweight crown but extended his undefeated streak to twenty wins.
There remains just one title for the unified champion to capture, the WBC World Heavyweight title, currently held by Tyson Fury.
Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk II - Full Card Results
Oleksandr Usyk def. Anthony Joshua via SD (115-113, 116-112, 113-115) [For the WBA Super, WBO, IBF World Heavyweight & The Ring Lineal World Heavyweight Championship]
Oleksandr Usyk controlled the tempo of the contest over the 12 rounds, with Anthony Joshua showing occasional bursts of brilliance.
Even as Anthony Joshua rocked the Ukrainian, he failed to follow through with the killer instinct that has slain the likes of Wladimir Klitschko. In round nine, he fought excellently with pinpoint shots to the body before switching to the head- even wobbling the seemingly infallible champion towards the end of the round but failing to capitalize.
However, Oleksandr Usyk had the resolve to answer almost every question his challenger asked. After Joshua emphatically took round nine, AJ was bombarded with the champion's incessant jabs, which were followed by a flurry of punches that had Joshua covering himself up. By the end of round 12 it appeared as though Anthony Joshua was fatigued and appeared dead on his feet, severely outworked by his opponent.
Filip Hrgovic def. Zhilei Zhang via UD (115-112 115-112 114-113) [IBF World Heavyweight title eliminator]
Filip Hrgovic overcame his toughest opponent yet after 12 rounds of back-and-forth action. The new IBF mandatory challenger went down in the first round after a right hand to the back of his head, and looked tired going into the following rounds.
However, the Croatian was saved as Zhilei Zhang also started running out of steam towards the end of the fight.
Following the knockdown in round one, the fight became a clumsy slugfest. Due to the fighter's fatigue, the shots often appeared as though they were in slow motion. There was a clash of heads right at the beginning of the third round that left Hrgovic bleeding on the left side of his forehead. At times in the bout, it appeared as though Hrgovic badly needed a break, walking away from his opponent on occasion.
Zhang was floored in the course of the fight, but not by Hrgovic, as he slipped on some water that had built up on the surface of the ring. With the win, 'El Animal' is now in prime position to challenge the winner of the main event- Oleksandr Usyk.
Bader Al Samreen def. Faud Taverdi via TKO in Round Four
Callum Smith def. Mathieu Bauderlique via TKO in Round Four [WBC World Light-Heavyweight title eliminator]
Badou Jack def. Richard Rivera via Split-Decision [96-94 96-94 96-94]
Ziyad Almaayouf def. Jose Alatorre via TKO in Round One
Ramla Ali def. Crystal Garcia Nova via TKO in Round One
Andrew Tabiti def. James Wilson via TKO in Round Six
Ben Whittaker def. Petar Nosic via UD [60-54, 59-55, 59-55]
Daniel Lapin def. Jozef Jurko via UD [80-72, 80-72, 80-72]
Traycho Georgiev def. Rashed Belhasa via Split-Decision