Wednesday, July 24, 2024  |



Oleksandr Usyk

Oleksandr Usyk
Oleksandr Usyk
country: Ukraine
22-0-0 (14 KOs)


Born in 1987 and a boxer since his teens, Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk had an exceptional amateur career, finishing with 335 wins and just 15 losses. He won gold in the 2008 European Championships as a light heavyweight, then gold at the 2011 World Championships and gold at the 2012 Olympics in London, both in the heavyweight division.

Fighting as a cruiserweight, Usyk turned pro in 2013 and captured the WBO title in his tenth pro fight, defeating Krzysztof Glowacki by unanimous decision. Five fights later, he was the undisputed champion at 200 pounds after adding the Ring Magazine, IBF, WBA and WBC belts in the World Boxing Super Series tournament with victories over Marco Huck, Mairis Briedis and Murat Gassiev.

Usyk then went in search of bigger prey at heavyweight in 2019. After two fights that left some wondering if his obvious talents would be enough to overcome men significantly larger than himself, Usyk erased all doubts with a pair of masterful performances against British star Anthony Joshua. His crowning achievement was beating the previously undefeated Tyson Fury in May 2024 to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion of the four-belt era. The win also brought him widespread recognition as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

Usyk vacated the IBF title the following June in order to honor a mandated rematch with Fury.

KNOWN FOR: Speed and agility rare for a fighter in the heaviest divisions. The 6-foot-3 Usyk is nimble and uses fluid footwork to position himself for attacks as well as control his opponents and keep them off-balance. Those skills and a slick defense allow Usyk to thread his way into range of his opponents, who are usually bigger than him, and he attacks with creative punches from all angles. Underlying everything, Usyk has a brilliant boxing mind and a giant heart, so he either has his opponents figured out before the fight begins, or he weathers the storm while he analyzes and makes adjustments.

RING FACTS: Usyk was The Ring’s 2018 Fighter of the Year.

Usyk during his undisputed heavyweight championship fight against Tyson Fury on May 18, 2024, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Richard Pelham/Getty Images)



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