Final Update: Usyk wins by SD to retain his WBA, IBF and WBO titles (115-113 Joshua, 115-113 Usyk, 116-112 Usyk).
Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua face off Saturday afternoon in Saudi Arabia, with the winner able to stake a claim as the king of the heavyweight division. The main card gets started at 1 p.m. ET, and the main event is expected to start in the 5 p.m. hour.
This is a rematch of the pair’s 2021 fight in which Usyk secured a stunning upset of Joshua. Usyk controlled the fight throughout to claim the IBF, WBA, and WBO titles. There was thought Joshua might step aside for a Usyk fight against Ring Magazine and WBC title-holder Tyson Fury, but the latter has retired for the time being. The Ring Magazine title has been added to this bout.
Usyk was the underdog last September, but this time around is favored at DraftKings Sportsbook. Usyk is -210 to win while Joshua is +165. The favored fight outcome us Usyk by KO, TKO, or DQ at +160. Usyk by decision follows at +200. A Joshua stoppage is +250 and a Joshua decision is +700. A draw sits at +1800.
We’ll be tracking the fight throughout with round-by-round scoring until a winner is determined.
Oleksandr Usyk vs. Anthony Joshua round-by-round results
Round 1: Usyk 10-9
We are underway! Usyk looks to set up a jab early to keep Joshua at distance. He sneaks a left through the guard and connects with another jab. Joshua attempts to set up a left jab and doesn't land, while Usyk lands another soft right. Usyk lands an up jab that lands solid. Usyk gets another jab in as Joshua misses a body shot as the round ends.
Round 2: Joshua 10-9, 19-19
Usyk is much more active on his feet than Joshua, with the latter standing in the middle of the ring and just rotating. Joshua lands a body shot and a right to Usyk for his first solid contact. Usyk lands that right up jab again, but Joshua counters with a jab of his own. Joshua had the chance to walk Usyk to the ropes but didn't take it, deciding to keep this one in the ring. He lands a few more rights to take this one.
Round 3: Joshua 10-9, 29-28
Joshua is doing a good job countering Usyk anytime Usyk goes for a counter. Joshua is leaning on body shots and is picking up the pace landing a clear right. Usyk lands a left and misses another. Joshua misses a right and catches an uppercut from Usyk. He ends the round with a left combo on Joshua that lands.
Round 4: Usyk 10-9, 38-38
Usyk starts this round a little more aggressive, landing some left jabs and a right to the body. The fighters trade blows, with Usyk going more jabs and Joshua attempting uppercuts and landing to the body. Usyk puts together a good series of punches as he looks to build some momentum. Joshua is starting to move his feet more and is answering well.
Round 5: Usyk 10-9, 48-47
Joshua throws a hard right, but Usyk catches it on his glove, blocking most of the blow. The competitors trade blows, but Usyk gets one below the belt. Usyk gets a soft right to land, but Joshua immediately counters with a left. Usyk goats Joshua into an attack, and Joshua lunges for a combo, but it doesn't land. Usyk lands a strong straight left as Joshua tried to dodge and couldn't.
Round 6: Usyk 10-9, 58-56
Joshua fakes right and then hits Usyk with a left to the body. Usyk throws a strong left hook, but it lands square in the guard for Joshua. He gets Usyk on the ropes and lands some shots, but Usyk gets him off. Usyk answers with a combo and lands a right hook around the guard. Joshua lands a straight right, but Usyk answers with a combo.
Round 7: Usyk 10-9, 68-65
Both boxers clinch and exchange some dirty body shots before getting away from their opponent. This round has been mainly soft jabs for the first two minutes. Usyk starts turning it on with a body shot and some strong lefts. Joshua's best shots this round were the clinch's strong body shots. Otherwise, this one was all Usyk.
Round 8: Joshua 10-9, Usyk 77-75
This round starts a little slowly as the round is stopped almost instantly to dry the ring floor off. Joshua also gets his leg’s toweled off. Could this impromptu break slow Usyk? Joshua lands two good body shots. He lands a really clean body shot combo, and Usyk may have shown a slight wince of pain, showing they are getting to him. Usyk goes for a big left, but it doesn’t land clean. Any time that Usyk tries to get going this round, he is halted by a heavy body shot.
Round 9: Joshua 10-9, Usyk 86-85
Usyk lands a body shot against the ropes, but Joshua connects with a strong left hook. Joshua landed another body shit to the left of Usyk, and it looked like it stung. Usyk isn’t moving as much and is looking to favor trying to block the body. Joshua lands a combo of hooks, and as Usyk goes down into a guard, Joshua lands an uppercut. Joshua gets warned for a hammer fist, but Usyk is on the run. This one is all Joshua as Usyk is trying to avoid a big hit.
Round 10: Usyk 10-9, 96-94
Usyk comes out firing and picks up the pace early. He lands a flurry of bunches that slow Joshua down but doesn’t keep him from going forward. Joshua lands a BIG uppercut straight to Usyk, and it stuns him a little. Usyk lands another uppercut and right hand. For one of the first times this fight, Joshua backs into a corner on his own. He looks a little tired as Usyk rains in more offense. This one goes back to Usyk.
Round 11: Usyk 10-9, 106-103
Usyk comes out trying to stay on Joshua. The smile from Joshua is gone as he is trying not to give up a big shot and knows he lost the momentum last round. Usyk lands a loud right hook, and Joshua whiffs the counter. Joshua goes back to the body after throwing some weak uppercut attempts. Joshua initiated a tie up on the ropes, and Usyk answered with another up jab off the ropes. He splits the guard with a straight left. Usyk makes it another round for him.
Round 12: Usyk 10-9, 116-112
Joshua has to do something big these last three minutes to win this (at least how I have it). Usyk just needs to survive, but he is coming out swinging. Joshua lands shots to the body and a straight right. Usyk is still countering and lands a big right hook. Joshua answers with a left hook and right hand. Usyk isn’t that type of fighter but he can afford to be more defensive. Joshua may have lost his footing and ends up almost laying on Usyk on the ropes for a timeout. Usyk lands multiple straight shots against the ropes on the other side of the ring. 45 seconds left, and they trade blows as Usyk gets an extra hit in. Joshua forces him to the corner and gets some cheap shots in as he knows this one is over. Bell rings.