Usyk outpoints Glowacki to claim WBO cruiserweight title
Unbeaten Ukrainian powerhouse Oleksandr Usyk has claimed the WBO cruiserweight title with an emphatic 12-round unanimous decision victory over Krzysztof Glowacki at the Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland.
The official scores were 119-110 and 117-111 twice in favor of the former Olympic heavyweight gold medalist from London 2012.
Usyk, who was rated No. 7 by THE RING at 200 pounds coming in, didn’t dig his claws in the way he had in garnering nine straight knockout wins, but he was technically superb in his first 12-round contest and made a serious statement at world level.
Glowacki, who was making his second title defense, pressed the action in the first half and made a real target of the body. Usyk, though, displayed terrific footwork for a big man and his omnipresent right jab was the signature punch for the majority of this all-southpaw battle.
As the rounds passed, Glowacki’s output dropped, which allowed Usyk to add layers to his performance. The right jab worsened a cut, which had opened up following a clash of heads in the third, but Usyk was also punishing the body and stepping around nicely after popping in the right hook to the head.
Glowacki, who entered tonight’s bout rated No. 3 by THE RING, was struggling to land cleanly and becoming frustrated in this homecoming defense.
Ironically, despite having no world title experience, Usyk saved his best for the championship rounds. A brilliant multi-punch combination to the head landed flush in the eleventh and most cruiserweights would have been down. Glowacki, durable to the last, simply absorbed the damage and marched forward.
There was a moment of drama in the 12th when Usyk tripped to the canvas and a hopeful Polish crowd thought Glowacki had scored a knockdown. He hadn’t. The challenger continued to score cleanly as the seconds ticked away and a new Ukrainian world titleholder arrived in style with Vasyl Lomachenko, Usyk’s former amateur team mate, looking on from ringside.
Glowacki (26-1, 16 KOs) captured the WBO belt by becoming the first man to defeat Germany’s longtime cruiserweight titleholder Marco Huck (KO 11) in August 2015. The 30-year-old brawler then outpointed former titleholder Steve Cunningham in April but, despite his experience, he was an underdog tonight due to Usyk’s amateur pedigree and hitting power.
After a period of convalescing, expect to see the Polish lefty back in the mix.
Usyk (10-0, 9 KOs) is a frightening proposition for anyone at 200 pounds. There are huge fights out there for him, including unification showdowns with the likes of Denis Lebedev (IBF and WBA titleholder) and Tony Bellew (WBC titleholder) but the cruiserweight division is also loaded with top quality contenders.
Usyk weighed in officially at 198.7 pounds with Glowacki at 199.3.
Tom Gray is a UK Correspondent/ Editor for RingTV.com and a member of THE RING ratings panel. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing