Outstanding Usyk rules in London as Joshua humbled on home turf

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Oleksandr Usyk produced a boxing masterclass to sensationally dethrone Anthony Joshua at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, completely altering the heavyweight landscape in the process. 

Usyk maintained his unbeaten record as a professional by outsmarting and outclassing the home favourite for the vast majority of their 12-round contest, rightly earning a unanimous points triumph to claim the IBF, WBA and WBO titles on Saturday.

Joshua started slowly and simply never managed to catch up. While there were bright spells for the defending champion around the midway stage, he faded badly down the stretch having struggled to ever impose himself. 

Usyk even threatened to force a late stoppage as the Ukrainian came on strong in the closing rounds, yet he eventually settled for a comfortable win on the scorecards. The three judges scored it 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113 in his favour. 

"The fight went exactly the way I expected it to go,” Usyk said in his post-fight interview with DAZN. 

"There were times when Anthony pushed me hard but nothing special. I had no objective to knock him out. My corner pushed me not to do that."

Joshua had hoped to be taking on WBC title holder Tyson Fury in a lucrative showdown to decide an undisputed champion in the division, only for that plan to be scuppered when his rival was ordered to face Deontay Wilder for a third time instead. 

Usyk was the back-up option picked to bridge the gap, the mandatory challenger with the WBO holder coming with a superb pedigree but limited experience at heavyweight. 

Still, the former undisputed cruiserweight champion was undeterred by giving away both a height and weight advantage. Elusive from the outset, his southpaw stance and smooth footwork bamboozled a plodding Joshua. 

Straight lefts landed with unerring accuracy, though by the halfway stage it appeared the Briton had begun to work out a method to counter what he was up against. 

However, it proved to be a false dawn for Joshua, the composed Usyk undoubtedly finishing the stronger of the two, including an impressive 11th round that saw him land consistently before a finale that saw Joshua at times appearing ready to buckle. 

While he did make it through to the final bell on his feet, the verdict was clear: Usyk had stunned both his opponent and a partisan crowd to be crowned in the English capital.