Oleksandr Usyk retained his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight title via a split-decision win over Anthony Joshua in a thrilling contest in Jeddah.
Fighting 11 months on from their initial encounter at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, where Usyk majestically dethroned Joshua, each man brought renewed intensity to their rivalry, which reached a sensational crescendo during rounds nine and 10 as the action ebbed back and forth.
By that stage, however, Usyk’s sensational skills had largely negated Joshua’s intelligent body attack and opened up an advantage that was recognised by margins of 116-112 and 115-113 on two scorecards, although judge Glenn Feldman pretty inexplicably gave it to Joshua 115-113.
When his victory was announced, Usyk shed tears before his national flag, having joined in the resistance against the Russian invasion in his homeland between these two seismic triumphs over Joshua. The 35-year-old is now also in possession of the Ring Magazine belt, which was held until his recent retirement by Tyson Fury. The undefeated Briton still holds the WBC crown and that is where Usyk’s attention will now turn, with his status as a modern great already secured.
“I devote this victory to my country!” 💙💛
Oleksandr Usyk’s emotional post-fight interview after a ‘historic’ victory 👊 pic.twitter.com/ekXXN4DjtW
— Sky Sports Boxing (@SkySportsBoxing) August 20, 2022
Joshua ended the evening with an erratic and profanity-laced, if largely sentimentally sound, address in the middle of the ring that jarringly hogged Usyk’s deserved limelight. But it was the result of what must have become a maddening experience against a genius of the ring.
After his timid defeat in London, Joshua looked to put the work he has done under new trainer Robert Garcia into practice. His work to Usyk’s midriff in round two had an authentically Mexican flavour.
Looking for a repeat of the instant revenge he dished out after his maiden career defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019, Joshua managed to take the centre of the ring and force Usyk to operate at an uncomfortable pace.
But even the most generous interpretation of what an improved Joshua brought to the ring was things being all-square at half way, by which time fatigue started to set in and the challenger spent too much time lingering at mid-range absorbing quicksilver combinations.
AJ PILES ON THE PRESSURE 😲
HUGE ONSLAUGHT #UsykJoshua2 #RageOnTheRedSea pic.twitter.com/6E12iObyXh
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) August 20, 2022
Usyk looked to be pulling clear until a thrilling round nine, when Joshua found heavy hooks to the head to match his body work. The champion looked disorganised as he took a left on the retreat but his response in the next session, peppering Joshua relentlessly from all angles, was that of a master.
Round 10 was perpetual motion as mercilessness. Somewhere in the middle of it, Joshua thudded a solid right hand to Usyk’s jaw but it barely registered. In the final six minutes, the clinic continued as Joshua tried everything to little avail and Usyk danced and dazzled his way to an emotional triumph.
How to watch live: DAZN globally (including U.S.) | Sky Sports Box Office (U.K.)
Oleksandr Usyk vs. Anthony Joshua 2 round-by-round results, highlights
In the end, the judges scored a split decision for Usyk: 116-112, 115-113, and 113-115.
With the win, Usyk retains the IBF, WBA, and WBO heavyweight titles.
If you’re looking for a round-by-round accounting of how it all went down, we’ve got you covered. Here is how the fight played out in real time from start to finish.
Round 1: We start with fencing jabs from the respective orthodox and southpaw stances. Joshua looking to be positive and looking for the right to the body. He doesn’t uncork the right too often and in the final minute, Usyk gets a couple of crisp shots through the guard, probably just enough to edge the session.
SN unofficial scorecard: Usyk 10-9 Joshua.
Round 2: Got yourself a Mexican trainer, have you Anthony. More typically quicksilver pot-shotting from Usyk, but Joshua stuck to the tactic of a body attack, with a left hook and than a right uppercut to the solar plexus particularly eye-catching/
SN unofficial scorecard: Usyk 19-19 Joshua.
Round 3: Joshua needs to let his hands go more, which is easier said than done against Usyk’s perpetual motion. He gets him in a clinch briefly in centre-ring, then finally loads up on the uppercut, which misses. Solid jab and then a right upstairs. This has been a better start from Joshua, but he’s having to work hard an Usyk won’t be too concerned at this stage.
SN unofficial scorecard: Usyk 28-29 Joshua.
Round 4: Joshua’s left jab upstairs and right to the body are both working. Now Usyk lands his most solid shot of the contest and Joshua responds, again with the uppercut a fraction off target. Usyk deals in fractions, of course. The champion finds a home for his backhand left and Joshua responds with a flurry at the bell.
SN unofficial scorecard: Usyk 37-39 Joshua.
Round 5: Things are heating up in the fifth, Joshua probably needs a bit more head movement. He goes to the body again and the referee calls it low. Borderline, really, but Usyk certainly did not like it. The champion counters a lazy jab over the top and Joshua goes to the body again.
SN unofficial scorecard: Usyk 47-48 Joshua.
Round 6: Joshua has some marking around his right eye and, as he was in the previous session, he’s standing at mid-range and getting picked off a bit. But here comes another body attack. Back comes Usyk, putting some crisp punches together in centre-ring. Joshua has done well here but I’ve got it all square at halfway. The fear for the challenger is that Usyk has just finished his recognisance operation and is now really ready to get to work.
SN unofficial scorecard: Usyk 57-57 Joshua.
Round 7: Ah, we’re back to the nonsense of this canvas. Joshua shrugs off a slip and then lands a nice right hand. He’s holding his shape well, the Brit, but there’s some majestic feet and hands from Usyk, who lands some scoring shots and spins off. Joshua does not feel outclassed like he did in London but the champ has started to bank rounds.
SN unofficial scorecard: Usyk 67-66 Joshua.
Round 8: For all that Joshua has tried to force an uncomfortable pace, he was second to his feet there. The ring is getting a towelling down again so he gets a bit more of a rest. Another stumble and a stagger from both men in the middle of the ring. Joshua lands his best shot of the fight – a left to the body. He needs more of that. Usyk back on the balls of his feet as Joshua’s right misses. Very little from Usyk is missing now. Joshua gets a combination off to the body. That was great work and it must be so dispiriting to see Usyk back in the middle of the ring, moving balletically and pinging through an array of headshots.
SN unofficial scorecard: Usyk 77-75 Joshua.
Round 9: Joshua goes to the body and then lands a couple of lefts upstairs. Is Usyk slowing a bit? He gets to work in centre ring and then traps Usyk briefly by the ropes. Joshua is going for it! Usyk on the retreat but ships a left hook. Of the 21 rounds they’ve shared, that was Joshua’s best.
SN unofficial scorecard: Usyk 86-85 Joshua
Round 10: Rapid start to the round from Usyk. A beautifully timed right. Then a left and it’s Joshua’s turn to absorb some punishment. The challenger is taking them well but did he empty the tank in the previous session? HANG ON! Big right from Joshua. Wallop. Usyk’s powers of recovery are something else and he’s going back through those dazzling combinations. Joshua looks spent. A might uppercut misses from the champion. Joshua finds a response but he’s being befuddled by punches from all angles. A hellacious round of heavyweight boxing.
SN unofficial scorecard: Usyk 96-94 Joshua.
Round 11: Usyk appears to sense the time is now. We knew all about the feet, the hands and the general genius, but he’s absorbed some serious leather from a big puncher intent on revenge tonight. Now Joshua’s chin is where most of the action seems destined to happen. A right to the body briefly seems to hurt Usyk. but back he comes. Joshua misses badly. He looks disorganised in there but if anyone ever doubts this man’s heart or dismisses him as a hype job, have a word with yourself. AJ is hanging with greatness, but barring a final-round miracle it will not be enough.
SN unofficial scorecard: Usyk 106-103 Joshua.
Round 12: Joshua’s coming with the kitchen sink but Usyk has every tool you’d ever need in the box. Joshua’s legs look heavy but he finds a clipping left hook. There’s been very little holding but now they grapple. This has been punishing for both men. Joshua getting caught on the way in, lands a good right but the story of the second half of the fight and the decisive story has been him having to take four or five to land a decent one. Joshua wrestles into Usyk and the final bell sounds. The two men share a moment of prayer and reflection in the middle of the ring. In a sport that often disgraces itself – for example not having a suitable canvas for a world heavyweight title fight – they are both an absolute credit.
SN unofficial scorecard: Usyk 116-112 Joshua.
Oleksandr Usyk vs. Anthony Joshua 2 undercard results, highlights
Filip Hrgovic beats Zhilei Zhang by unanimous decision
10:48 p.m. BST/5:48 p.m. ET: Hmmm, Hrgovic has got away with one there, you sense. The crowd in Jeddah have been very well mannered throughout but that verdict, by margins of 115-112 on two scorecards and 114-113 on the third prompted a fair few boos. At its point, it’s probably worth flagging that the two most high-profile bouts on the undercard to have gone to the cards, the wins for Hrgovic and Jack, have brought controversial outcomes. All the more reason for Usyk and Joshua to go for it inside the distance, I guess.
10:41 p.m. BST/5:41 p.m. ET: We reach the final bell. Despite that nightmare round nine, Hrgovic had the better of the second half of the fight and this will be close on the cards. That 10-8 round for Zhang way back in round one might just prove decisive. Perhaps they’ll do it again. As entertaining as that was, with moments of genuine quality, you wouldn’t relish the winner going anywhere near Usyk or Joshua.
10:35 p.m. BST/5:35 p.m. ET: Round 10 a much better one for Hrgovic, whose anomalous performance continues. Both men slipping all over the place again in the 11th, which is a situation that could do with being sorted before the main event. Very little seems to bother Oleksandr Usyk in a boxing ring, but leaving a man with some of the best footwork on the planet skating round everywhere would be farcical. Zhang had some more good moments in round 11 before slipping over and ending the session on his back. He could really have injured himself then, this is ridiculous.
10:29 p.m. BST/5:29 p.m. ET: An utterly compelling and fairly bizarre fight continues. Round nine was feeling like a non-event and the referee needed the ring to be towelled down halfway through because Zhang kept slipping. Hrgovic was also unsteady on his feet during the final 30 seconds as a groggily staggered through Zhang’s latest sustained assault. You’d think Hrgovic has it all to do in the championship rounds.
10:24 p.m. BST/5:24 p.m. ET: Is the tide turning on the Red Sea? Rounds seven and eight probably Hrgovic’s best of the contest and now it’s Zhang who looks very tired, breathing heavily and boldly complaining to the referee about a shot to the back of the head having more or less taken it in the face. On the other hand, Zhang has looked absolutely shattered in his best rounds. I think it’s just his way.
10:17 p.m. BST/5:17 p.m. ET: Round six is another ordeal for Hrgovic. This was not in the script and his corner might want to have a look. Zhang methodically stuck to his trudge-forward style, landing head shots at will. Hrgovic’s nose is bloodied and whenever he is put on the back foot he looks defensively awful.
10:13 p.m. BST/5:13 p.m. ET: Zhang has a habit of fading down the stretch in fights, something Hrgovic will be well aware of. He was getting through his most impressive round of the contest in the fifth but then Zhang responded with some heavy shots in the final 10 seconds to again leave Hrgovic in trouble by the bell. He looks awfully out of sorts.
Big Bang piling on the pressure 👀#UsykJoshua2 #RageOnTheRedSea pic.twitter.com/aVZgtyDaCA
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) August 20, 2022
10:03 p.m. BST/5:03 p.m. ET: The second was better for Hrgovic but things aren’t going to plan overall for the Croatian hope. There was a clash of heads early in round three, with blood for both men but thankfully nothing troubling the eyes. Zhang proceeded to control the session from his southpaw stance and Hrgovic looks uncomfortable when he’s backed up.
9:55 p.m. BST/4:55 p.m. ET: Drama in round one. Hrgovic was getting nicely into his work, with Zhang plodding in pedestrian style. But then the Chinese big ban club a right hook behind Hrgovic’s left ear and down he went. As you’d expect, Zhang then ended the round strongly and the favourite looked pretty disorganised.
9:50 p.m. BST/4:50 p.m. ET: Zhang is in the ring and here comes the similarly unbeaten Filip Hrgovic. The Croatian has won all 14 of his professional fights, with 12 inside the distance. Zhang is 24-0-1 with 19 knockouts but is 39. This feels like it’s Hrgovic’s time. He wants the winner of Usyk vs. Joshua 2 and this bout doubles up as an eliminator for a shot at the IBF title, one of the three major belt Usyk ripped from Joshua last September.
9:42 p.m. BST/4:42 p.m. ET: David Coldwell, Tony Bellew’s former trainer from when the former WBC cruiserweight champion faced Usyk in his 2018 farewell fight, is taking care of a lot of the tactical breakdowns on the Sky Sports broadcast in the UK. If you’ve not got access to that, fear not – Coldwell spoke to The Sporting News to break things down.
MORE: Oleksandr Usyk vs. Anthony Joshua 2: The psychology of a rematch as AJ seeks to crack boxing’s most challenging puzzle
9:22 p.m. BST/4:22 p.m. ET: We’ve got the chief support bout between Hrgovic and Zhang and then it’s the big one. Joshua is jumping straight back in for a bid at instant revenge. He’s one of only four men to have pulled off such an assignment in heavyweight history. I had a dig into the tales for repeat and revenge from instant rematches when the heavyweight champion has been defeated.
MORE: Oleksandr Usyk vs. Anthony Joshua 2: Past boxers to be crowned three-time heavyweight champions as AJ chases history
Callum Smith beats Mathieu Bauderlique via round 4 KO!
8:57 p.m. BST/3:57 p.m. ET: Wallop! That’s a statement from Callum Smith. There was just no let-up from either man from the first bell. Bauderlique managing to drag Smith into a shootout was thrilling but, against a man with such KO power, it was always going to be high-right. The first knockdown came with a trademark catch-counter left hook. That second Bauderlique on the top of the head and he tried to stand up far too quickly.
Briefly, Smith looked like he might have punched himself out in his follow up assault but another heavy hook finished the job. On that evidence, Smith against Artur Beterbiev might not last very long but you’d be absolutely mad to blink.
IT’S ALL OVER 😳
WHAT A KO FROM @CallumSmith23 😤#UsykJoshua2 #RageOnTheRedSea pic.twitter.com/45CmuBhlm5
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) August 20, 2022
8:49 p.m. BST/3:49 p.m. ET: Lively first couple of rounds, with Bauderlique trying to set a fast pace and having some success. Smith has landed a few heavy shots too though and really does look the boss whenever the action ends up in centre ring. The Liverpudlian looks huge against a career light-heavyweight. It really feels absurd that he boiled his frame down to 168lbs for so long.
8:42 p.m. BST/3:42 p.m. ET: Here comes our next contest, then. Bauderlique has just arrived in the ring. The Frenchman is the underdog here as Smith chases the dream of becoming a two-weight world champion. But he is on a nine-fight winning streak, with six of those coming inside the distance.
8:15 p.m. BST/3:15 p.m. ET: According to the schedules that have been distributed around ringside, we’re still a little under three hours away from the main event. If there are quick finishes in either the IBF heavyweight eliminator between Filip Hrgovic and Zhilei Zhang or the WBC silver light-heavyweight showdown between Callum Smith and Mathieu Bauderlique then we could be in for a bit of thumb twiddling.
“Use lateral movement, never go straight back!”
‘Manos de Piedra’ Roberto Durán on how Anthony Joshua can avenge his defeat. 👑 pic.twitter.com/DpXMcilRbO
— Sky Sports Boxing (@SkySportsBoxing) August 20, 2022
Badou Jack beats Richard Rivera via split decision
7:57 p.m. BST/2:57 p.m. ET: Jack gets it 96-94 on two cards, while the other judge had it to Rivera by the same margin. The latter scorecard looked the one most grounded in reality and it’s hard to escape the sense that Jack has really got away with one there. It begs the question what his remaining ambitions are because, on that evidence, he will not be troubling the major belt holders at 200 lbs. “Definitely, I’ve got to step it up,” Jack concedes to Sky Sports afterwards. While complaining about the decision, Rivera insisted he is strong to the finish because he eats his spinach. You really have to admire that sort of commitment to a bit. Fair play.
7:52 p.m. BST/2:52 p.m. ET: We go to the scorecards. Jack closed things up down the stretch, most notably in an absurd eighth round which lasted for about four-and-a-half minutes as the timekeeper went AWOL. Honestly, imagine that happens during the main event… The two-weight world champion warmed to his task but I’m not sure he’s done enough.
7:35 p.m. BST/2:35 p.m. ET: A few quality body shots from Jack in round six and on the odd occasions he’s able to land the jab he looks the boss. But for a lot of this fight he’s looked just like a man approaching 40, with the feet a little slower than they were and distance proving hard to judge. Throw in the fact that Rivera is right up for this and an outright pest and the veteran Swede has some serious work to do.
Badou Jack and Richard Rivera are 𝗪𝗢𝗥𝗞𝗜𝗡𝗚 💪#UsykJoshua2 pic.twitter.com/ZCPdQDDtie
— Sky Sports Boxing (@SkySportsBoxing) August 20, 2022
7:27 p.m. BST/2:27 p.m. ET: This is becoming a problematic night at the office for Jack and, it must be said, not the sort of matchmaking a 38-year-old up in the weight divisions will much thank his handlers for. Rivera is 21-0 but has operated at a lower level. However, he’s on a run of four consecutive stoppage wins and clearly fancies making a name for himself. Unorthodox and full of errors, Rivera can certainly dig and is chucking his right hand from all sorts of unusual angles.
7:10 p.m. BST/2:10 p.m. ET: The fighters are in the ring for our next contest. Former super-middleweight and light-heavyweight world champion Badou Jack is continuing his decorated career at cruiserweight. His opponent is Richard ‘Popeye The Sailor Man’ Rivera. For his ringwalk, Rivera really doubled down on his nickname, wearing shorts with an illustration of an anchor on them and puffing on a fake pipe all to a soundtrack of the popular cartoon theme. It was a little disappointing he didn’t down a couple of tins of spinach in the ring before the final instructions.
6:55 p.m. BST/1:55 p.m. ET: We’ve a bit of a pause in the action now, as you might expect when a couple of people are laid out in round one in short order. It leaves a bit of time to ponder the blockbuster to come. Usyk vs. Joshua 2 really is such an intriguing prospect – arguably more so than it has any right to be given how generally one-sided the first fight was. Much of the expectation around seeing a different AJ this time around centres around the addition of esteemed trainer Robert Garcia to his came. Our man in Jeddah, Raj Mahil, caught up with Garcia this week and it was a fascinating chat.
Ziyad Almaayouf beats Jose Alatorre by round 1 KO
6:40 p.m. BST/1:40 p.m. ET: You don’t get paid for overtime in the pros! You’ll go a long way to see a more competitive, eventful opening round to a professional career. Alatorre tore after Almaayouf from the opening bell and had his much-fancied opponent in a bit of trouble. However, the Mexican’s approach to defence was to have absolutely none whatsoever and Almaayouf’s superior technique soon showed. A smooth one-two saw Alatorre decked within the final minute of the round and right hooks to body and head saw it waved off with five seconds of the round remaining.
6:37 p.m. BST/1:37 p.m. ET: In the ring now, we have a couple of debutants. Although, it’s fair to say Mexico’s Jose Alatorre is expected to be making up the numbers. In the other corner, the New York-born, Saudi-based Buddy McGirt student Ziyad Almaayouf has swaggered in to “We Will Rock You” and enjoyed a warn reception.
6:33 p.m. BST/1:33 p.m. ET: We’ve had some nice action on the undercard so far but, with the greatest respect to everyone left to come, you don’t want every fight going the distance when the bill-topper is very probably the fight of the year. So, once again, huge props to Ramla Ali for taking care of business in no time at all.
Ramla Ali beats Crystal Garcia Nova via brutal 1st round KO
My word, that’s a statement win from Ramla Ali. The first women’s bout ever to take place in Saudi Arabia did not last long at all. Ali caught her foe cold, staggering Nova with a solid right hand early on. Then the finish came in sensational style, clattering Nova’s gumshield from her mouth with another crunching right before her foe crumpled to the canvas. Showreel stuff!
An highlight-reel KO in a historic fight 🙌 @ramlaali#UsykJoshua2 #RageOnTheRedSea pic.twitter.com/5ArmreAJv2
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) August 20, 2022
Andrew Tabiti beats James Wilson
After a bit of debate with his corner, weary Wilson is pulled out – Tabiti wins with the first early finish of the night!
The World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight semi-finalist enhances his record to 20 wins and one defeat. Wilson takes a while to recover sufficiently to rise from his stool, then exchanges words of respect with Tabiti.
“I’m feeling great,” Tabiti tells DAZN. “He’s a bigger guy, so I was taking my time and seeing what he has. Once I saw that he doesn’t have too much, I put my foot on and pumped the gas.”
Tabiti says that he now hopes to go for the “big fish” and campaign at cruiserweight, bridgerweight and heavyweight in future.
👊 Andrew Tabiti wins the battle of the beasts after Wilson fails to come out at the start of the sixth 💥 #TabitiWilson #UsykJoshua2 pic.twitter.com/knmRUi6NbZ
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) August 20, 2022
Andrew Tabiti vs. James Wilson – round five
Tabiti catches Wilson with a good shot, then appears to stand on Wilson’s foot, making the shot looking more troubling than it was for the bigger man.
Then he connects with a cruel right hand after backing Wilson into a corner. When he takes him to the ropes again, an uppercut proves too much and sends Wilson down.
The referee allows wobbled Wilson to continue after an eight count. Creditably, he stays on his feet for the remaining 30 seconds of the round, looking drained as he returns to his corner.
Andrew Tabiti vs. James Wilson – round four
Wilson tries to impose himself on Tabiti. There’s a case for him winning the round as he steps forward, which is a bit of a surprise after he was hit by by the shot of the fight so far in the third round.
READ: Oleksandr Usyk vs. Anthony Joshua 2 roundtable: Analysis, expert picks, predictions for heavyweight title fight
Andrew Tabiti vs. James Wilson – round three
Just when Wilson seems to be feeling his way in to the fight, Tabiti rocks him with a left hook that he anticipated about as keenly as a fly sensing an asteroid plunging earthwards.
Wilson holds on and has a smile on his face as he retreats to his corner once the bell goes.
Andrew Tabiti vs. James Wilson – round two
Tabiti has a noticeable speed superiority to the heavier fighter and is finding success with his jab. Wilson has not offered much so far and has probably lost both rounds.
Fight night! pic.twitter.com/qsii3U8Ido
— David Diamante (@daviddiamante) August 20, 2022
Andrew Tabiti vs. James Wilson – round one
A curious heavyweight clash here, and parallels with the weight difference between Usyk and Joshua: Wilson is 10kg heavier than his opponent but has not campaigned at the same level as Tabiti, who once challenged for a world title at cruiserweight.
Wilson, 35, is known as ‘The Beast’. Tabiti, who is three years his junior, is known as ‘Beast’. Neither American has taken a beasting in the opening round.
Ben Whittaker beats Petar Nosic (UD)
Two out of two for the decorated former amateur. “I just tried to box to my gameplan,” Whittaker tells DAZN. “The coach wanted me to keep behind my jab and keep it nice and composed.
“You could see [Nosic] was a bit weary but it was great fighting him so early in my career. I switched off, trying to look a bit too sexy at times – but that’s me.”
Whittaker’s thoughts on the prospects for Joshua, the man whose management companies looks after his career?
“Come on, man. If I don’t hear nobody screaming for AJ, I’m not your friend. I want everybody to raise the roof for AJ.”
Don’t forget to read our interview with Whittaker as he takes another important step in his burgeoning professional career.
Ben Whittaker vs. Petar Nosic – round six
Whittaker cruises to an easy victory, landing a few times with right-hand shots of varying powers again without looking likely to land the knockout.
This will have been a useful six-rounder for the rookie.
⚖️ Anthony Joshua exclusively reveals his weight for #UsykJoshua2.
🤔 How does it compare to his previous title fights? 👇https://t.co/2sbcLj7iQt pic.twitter.com/RppRcLY8Hx
— Sporting News Boxing (@sn_fights) August 18, 2022
Ben Whittaker vs. Petar Nosic – round five
“Touch, touch, slow,” says Steward at the end of a round in which Whittaker’s greatest success came from an early straight right that appeared to wobble Nosic. Whittaker chuckles at something the exalted trainer says as he stands in wait for the fifth.
The bronze medalist at the World Championships in 2019 responds to the advice by spending most of the round looking for a big shot. He takes a few clips to his whiskers for his trouble.
Ben Whittaker vs. Petar Nosic – round four
Steward appeared to tell Whittaker to step it up in this round. He looks for an angle and lands, but not to telling effect.
Whittaker lands with a sharp right as the final 30 seconds of the round approaches. Nosic shrugs it off and keeps coming forward.
Ben Whittaker vs. Petar Nosic – round three
Whittaker is leading off the jab and throwing plenty of feints but he knows he is in a fight against Nosic, who does not look unduly troubled.
Ben Whittaker vs. Petar Nosic – round two
Nosic is an unbeaten Croatian who made his debut in 2021 and has won all six of his fights. The pair are former amateur rivals, and Nosic is occasionally finding a way through here.
You can read The Sporting News’ exclusive interview with Whittaker from Jeddah by clicking on the link below!
MORE: Ben Whittaker on Joshua vs. Fury, adjusting to Sugarhill Steward and Olympian’s rapid rise
Ben Whittaker vs. Petar Nosic – round one
And here comes one of Joshua’s compatriots: Birmingham light-heavyweight Whittaker won a silver medal at the Olympic Games last year, among a haul of amateur medals.
The 25-year-old receives advice from legendary trainer SugarHill Steward in his corner after a decent first round in which he took a few jabs but appeared to show superior speed, footwork and movement to Nosic.
Daniel Lapin beats Jozef Jurko (UD)
Never in doubt. We’ll reduce any risk of patronising Jurko by sparing him another mention of how durable and game he was against an intimidating opponent.
If Usyk wants a good early omen for the headline bout, this conclusive victory by a countryman who reveres him could be it!
Daniel Lapin vs. Jozef Jurko – round eight
Lapin steps it up again, grinning as he tries to finish Jurko in the final round. With around 70 seconds to go, Jurko slows on his feet and momentarily looks like he might be in trouble.
The towering Kiev fighter beckons Jurko on, and his adversary raggedly goes for broke, showing impressive reserves of energy while coming no nearer to a meaningful blow. The fighters who their respect for each other as the bell goes.
👊 @davidcoldwell believes the tactics from @TonyBellew‘s fight with Usyk influenced Joshua last time out.
👉 Read more: https://t.co/csRhakgc9V #UsykJoshua2 pic.twitter.com/oXrM3Ay7N1
— Sporting News Boxing (@sn_fights) August 19, 2022
Daniel Lapin vs. Jozef Jurko – round seven
Lapin has never been taken this far in a fight before, and the way he’s occasionally seemed to hold back and measure up his opponents suggests he perhaps wanted to try out a few elements today and spend more time in the ring.
A fairly uneventful round. Jurko earns a little recovery time and shows his spirit as he gamely tries to find a way through, occasionally slugging at thin air.
Daniel Lapin vs. Jozef Jurko – round six
Lapin seems to up the speed at the start of the round, working Jurko towards a corner and sending in chopping body shots.
Jurko, to his credit again, responds with flashes of success on his own. The referee has a word with Jurko about something he’s spotted during the closing seconds of the round, and the fighters touch gloves.
Daniel Lapin vs. Jozef Jurko – round five
This fight is following a familiar pattern. There is a sense that Lapin could probably finish this earlier if he wanted to, although Jurko is performing commendably and does not look visibly more tired than he did after a few minutes of fruitless chasing in the first half of the bout.
✍️ “What surprised me was he always took notes.”
🥵 “After the fight, you’ll thank us for pushing you.”
Watch Robert Garcia on Anthony Joshua in full: https://t.co/ZX8CCkfLMu #UsykJoshua2 pic.twitter.com/FESQf8Ub3e
— Sporting News Boxing (@sn_fights) August 20, 2022
Daniel Lapin vs. Jozef Jurko – round four
One of the novelties of this fight taking place in a largely empty arena is that you can hear the thud all the more clearly when fights land. Lapin just landed a body shot that sounded like an axe hitting a tree.
Jurko, understandably, is riled, growling as he charges Lapin towards a corner and tries to connect with a barrage of willing but untidy attempts.
Daniel Lapin vs. Jozef Jurko – round three
Jurko wants to find a way through but there are shades of Tyson Fury’s opponents as he toils to move within the range he would like and eats more than one vicious shot along the way.
Toughman Jurko has never been stopped and has won nine of his 16 fights, but is clearly tiring as he sits in the corner. This is his seventh fight in 13 months, so he’s clearly durable.
Daniel Lapin vs. Jozef Jurko – round two
A devotee of Usyk, Lapin clearly would not object if Jurko did come forward recklessly. The giant has never lost a round and does not look like doing so here.
In the building: @ramlaali 👊#AliNova #UsykJoshua2 pic.twitter.com/0laNl4w1tK
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) August 20, 2022
Daniel Lapin vs. Jozef Jurko – round one
Lapin is a 6ft 6in Ukrainian light-heavyweight who was born in Poland and grew up in Crimea. The 25-year-old’s huge reach has immediately caused problems for Jozef Jurko, his opponent known as ‘The Slovakian Bulldog’ who has shown ample aggression and appears to be shouting at Lapin in an attempt to incite a more toe-to-toe scrap.
Jurko cannot connect when he steps in, while Lapin is attacking from distance and using his movement to damaging effect, often evading the guard with his left hand.
Traycho Georgiev beats Rashed Belhasa (UD)
Well, that was an entertaining start to today’s action. After a fight in which both boxers freely threw haymakers and chased each other around the ring, Bulgarian Traycho Georgiev earns the first win of his career at the fourth attempt against celebrity opposition!
Georgiev was taking on Rashed ‘Money Kicks’ Belhasa, the YouTube and social media sensation who was making his debut. Belhasa has more than 2.1 million followers and was awarded a 39-37 win on one of the judge’s cards.
Traycho Georgiev gets the win via split decision over Rashed ‘Moneykicks’ Belhasa in our opener 👀 #UsykJoshua2 #RageOnTheRedSea pic.twitter.com/D8Ii34iRC8
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) August 20, 2022
When is Oleksandr Usyk vs. Anthony Joshua 2?
- Date: August 20 | August 21 in Australia
- Main card: 12 p.m. ET | 5 p.m. BST | 2 a.m. AEST
- Main event: 5:15 p.m. ET | 10:15 p.m. BST | 7:15 a.m. AEST (Approximately)
Usyk vs. Joshua 2 will take place on August 20. The main card will start at 12 p.m. ET | 5 p.m. BST | 2 a.m. AEST. Usyk and Joshua should make their way to the ring around 5:15 p.m. ET | 10:15 p.m. BST | 7 a.m. AEST, depending on how long the undercard fights last.
MORE: Oleksandr Usyk vs. Anthony Joshua 2 roundtable
How to watch Oleksandr Usyk vs. Anthony Joshua 2
- U.S., Canada, Australia: DAZN
- U.K.: Sky Sports Box Office
In most countries globally, including the U.S., Canada and Australia, the fight will be streamed on DAZN.
However, Sky Sports Box Office won the rights to the fight in Joshua’s home territory (U.K.).
Oleksandr Usyk vs. Anthony Joshua 2 PPV price: How much does the card cost?
- DAZN monthly subscription: $19.99 in the U.S., $20 in Canada, $13.99 AUD
- DAZN annual subscription: $99.99 in the U.S., $150 in Canada
In the United States, Canada and Australia, and most territories globally, the fight will air on DAZN, but it will not be via PPV.
- Sky Sports Box Office: £26.95 in the U.K.
Fight fans in the UK will have to stump up £26.95, a £2 increase on the price Sky Sports set for AJ and Usyk’s initial encounter.
MORE: Join DAZN to watch Usyk vs. Joshua 2
Oleksandr Usyk vs. Anthony Joshua 2 fight card
- Oleksandr Usyk (c) vs. Anthony Joshua for the WBA, IBF, WBO and The Ring heavyweight titles
- Filip Hrgovic bt. Zhilei Zhang UD 12; IBF heavyweight title eliminator
- Callum Smith bt. Mathieu Bauderlique KO 4/12; WBC light-heavyweight title eliminator
- Badou Jack bt. Richard Rivera SD 10
- Andrew Tabiti bt. James Wilson RTD 5/8
- Ramla Ali bt. Crystal Garcia Nova KO 1/8
- Daniel Lapin bt. Jozef Jurko UD 8
- Ziyad Almaayouf bt. Jose Alatorre KO 1/4
- Ben Whittaker bt. Peter Nosic UD 6
- Traycho Georgiev bt. Rashed ‘Money Kicks’ Belhasa UD 4