On the evening of May 18, 2024, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk defeated British boxer Tyson Fury and became the absolute world heavyweight champion. The Cat defended the IBF, WBO and WBA belts, and also won the WBC belt, which was previously held by the Briton. After this victory, many began to talk about the Ukrainian boxer as the best athlete in this sport, regardless of weight category. Why is that? Let’s figure it out.

Early Beginnings and Amateur Dominance

Oleksandr Usyk’s journey to becoming a world champion began in the small Ukrainian city of Simferopol, where he was born on January 17, 1987. Growing up in a country with a rich boxing heritage, Usyk was naturally drawn to sports from a young age. His initial foray into athletics was through football, a sport he pursued passionately. However, at the age of 15, Usyk made a pivotal decision to switch to boxing, a choice that would set the stage for his future successes.

Usyk’s entry into boxing was marked by rigorous training and a rapid ascent through the ranks of the amateur circuit. His natural athleticism, combined with a disciplined work ethic, allowed him to quickly develop a distinctive style characterized by agility, precision, and strategic acumen, which can also be vital in valorant betting. These early years were crucial in shaping

Usyk’s boxing philosophy, which emphasized movement, defense, and technical mastery over brute strength.

Usyk’s breakthrough came during his participation in various international tournaments, where he consistently outperformed his peers. His first major success was at the 2008 European Championships in Liverpool, where he won the bronze medal in the light heavyweight division.

This achievement was followed by a gold medal at the 2011 World Championships in Baku,

Azerbaijan, a victory that signaled his readiness for the highest levels of competition.

The pinnacle of Usyk’s amateur career came at the 2012 London Olympics. Competing in the heavyweight division, Usyk demonstrated his exceptional skills and tactical intelligence. His path to the gold medal was marked by victories over top-tier opponents, including a standout performance against Artur Beterbiev in the quarterfinals, which showcased his ability to outthink and outmaneuver powerful adversaries. In the final, Usyk faced Italy’s Clemente Russo, securing a unanimous decision victory and the coveted Olympic gold medal. This triumph not only solidified his status as one of the world’s elite amateur boxers but also set the stage for his transition to the professional ranks.

Transition to Professional Boxing

After achieving significant success in the amateur ranks, including winning an Olympic gold medal in 2012, Oleksandr Usyk made the transition to professional boxing in 2013. This move was highly anticipated within the boxing community, given his impressive amateur pedigree and the potential he showed for dominating in the professional arena.


Usyk signed with K2 Promotions, the company founded by the Klitschko brothers, who were dominant figures in heavyweight boxing. His debut fight occurred on November 9, 2013, against Felipe Romero, which he won by a fifth-round knockout. This fight showcased Usyk’s power and precision, signaling that his skills were well-suited for the professional level.

In his early professional bouts, Usyk quickly established himself as a force to be reckoned with in the cruiserweight division. He won his first nine fights by knockout, demonstrating not only his technical prowess but also his ability to finish fights decisively. These victories were critical in building his reputation and setting the stage for more significant challenges.

Usyk’s first major professional milestone came when he captured the WBO Inter-Continental cruiserweight title in his fifth fight, defeating South African boxer Daniel Bruwer in October 2014.

This victory was pivotal as it marked Usyk’s entry into the upper echelons of the cruiserweight division.

His relentless pursuit of excellence saw him defending this title successfully, all the while honing his skills and gaining invaluable experience. Usyk’s fights were characterized by his superior footwork, ability to control distance, and his strategic use of angles—traits that made him a nightmare for his opponents.

Cruiserweight Conquest

Usyk’s first major title opportunity came in September 2016. He faced Krzysztof Głowacki for the WBO cruiserweight title in Gdańsk, Poland. Głowacki, an undefeated champion, presented a significant challenge. However, Usyk’s superior footwork, precision, and tactical understanding allowed him to outbox Głowacki over twelve rounds, securing a unanimous decision victory. This win made Usyk the WBO cruiserweight champion in only his tenth professional fight, breaking the record for the fewest fights to a world title in the cruiserweight division.

The next major chapter in Usyk’s cruiserweight conquest was his participation in the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS), a prestigious tournament designed to crown the undisputed champion of the division. Entering the tournament as a favorite, Usyk was determined to unify the cruiserweight titles.


In the quarterfinals, Usyk faced Marco Huck, a former champion known for his toughness and experience. Usyk dominated the fight, stopping Huck in the tenth round and advancing to the semifinals.

In January 2018, Usyk faced Mairis Briedis, the WBC champion, in a highly anticipated unification bout in Riga, Latvia. Briedis, known for his power and resilience, provided a stern test. However, Usyk’s superior boxing skills and tactical adjustments allowed him to secure a majority decision victory, adding the WBC title to his WBO belt.

The climax of Usyk’s cruiserweight journey came in the WBSS final against Murat Gassiev in July 2018 in Moscow, Russia. Gassiev, the IBF and WBA champion, was a formidable opponent with a perfect record and significant knockout power. However, Usyk delivered a boxing masterclass, outmaneuvering and outclassing Gassiev over twelve rounds. His superior footwork, rapid combinations, and impeccable defense left Gassiev unable to mount any effective offense. Usyk won a unanimous decision, becoming the undisputed cruiserweight champion and holding all four major belts—WBA, WBC, IBF, and WBO.

Stepping Up to Heavyweight

After dominating the cruiserweight division, Usyk set his sights on the heavyweight category. His heavyweight debut came against Chazz Witherspoon in October 2019, a fight he won convincingly despite a noticeable size disadvantage. This victory was followed by a more significant challenge against Derek Chisora in October 2020. Usyk showcased his resilience and tactical acumen, earning a unanimous decision and proving his capability to compete with the heavier fighters.

Usyk’s defining moment came on September 25, 2021, when he faced Anthony Joshua, the unified heavyweight champion, in London. Despite being the underdog, Usyk delivered a masterclass performance, utilizing his superior footwork, speed, and ring IQ to outbox Joshua over twelve rounds. The unanimous decision victory earned Usyk the WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles, cementing his status as one of the sport’s elite.

The rematch with Joshua in August 2022 was equally significant. Usyk once again demonstrated his tactical supremacy and mental fortitude, securing a split decision victory and retaining his titles. This victory not only reaffirmed his dominance but also quelled any doubts about his ability to maintain his performance at the highest level.

After defeating Daniel Dubois in August 2023, where Usyk won by knockout in the ninth round, the Ukrainian was left with only one final boss. This was the WBC heavyweight champion, Briton Tyson Fury.

The Clash for the Title of the Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion

The fight for the title of the undisputed world heavyweight champion has been brewing for quite some time. But due to an unfortunate postponement due to a cut in the Briton during sparring, the fight was last postponed to May 18th.

On that day, Oleksandr Usyk performed a miracle, becoming the first absolute world heavyweight champion in 25 years. The fight was extremely difficult for Oleksandr, and the opponent demonstrated that he knew how to use his advantage in anthropometry. But in the ninth round, Usyk was able to knock down Fury, delivering a series of significant blows. If it weren’t for the referee, the Briton had every chance of losing early. As a result, Usyk won a split decision and became the most titled boxer in the history of Ukraine, as well as one of the best boxers in the world.


Oleksandr Usyk, at the age of 37, has mastered boxing as a sport. The Ukrainian became the champion of Ukraine in amateurs, the European champion in amateurs, the world champion in amateurs, won gold at the Olympics, was the undisputed world champion in cruiserweight, and also became the undisputed world champion in heavyweight. For such merits, Ring magazine deservedly puts Oleksand Usyk in first place in the pound-for-pound ranking. Ahead of the Ukrainian is a rematch against Tyson Fury, which promises to be even more difficult, because now the Briton has gained valuable experience in a fight against the strongest heavyweight boxer of our time.