Former cruiserweight king Usyk produced a display for the ages, totally outboxing AJ but also standing in the pocket to trade when necessary as he won a unanimous decision on the scorecards.
Usyk up to #1, behind champ Fury
As a result, Usyk makes the rapid leap up to #1 in the latest Ring rankings from a previous #10, while Joshua drops down to #2. The Ukrainian is also the only heavyweight currently in the Ring pound-for-pound top 10. He sits #2 in that list, behind only Mexican megastar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
Tyson Fury of course remains Ring magazine champion after that epic victory over Deontay Wilder in their trilogy fight in Las Vegas on October 9.
Fury, as he had in their first meeting back in 2018, was down twice, but he roared back to dominate proceedings for most of what was an unforgettable night.
Wilder meanwhile if anything saw his reputation enhanced in defeat. As well as decking ‘The Gypsy King’ twice in Round 4, he showed admirable courage to hang tough until the penultimate session, when Fury finally closed the show. Deontay drops one position to #3 due to the rise of Usyk.
The previous rankings cast remains unchanged, though everybody does shuffle down a spot courtesy of Usyk’s move up the list.
Rivas still in heavyweight list
One interesting sidenote is that Oscar Rivas remains in The Ring heavyweight rankings at #9. We await with interest to see what happens next month given his decision to fight for the WBC’s new bridgerweight title.
The next time The Ring heavyweight title will be on the line is likely to be for an all-British heavyweight title showdown between Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte. ‘The Body Snatcher’ is the mandatory contender for the WBC title held by Fury, and the governing body says that should happen unless an undisputed fight can. With Usyk contracted for a Joshua rematch, that would be a hard ‘no’.
It’s likely Fury vs Whyte will happen early in 2022 assuming ‘The Gypsy King’ accepts the challenge.