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Fury vs Usyk doesn’t disappoint as punters win big

Oleksandr Usyk

Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury went toe-to-toe for 12 glorious rounds of heavyweight boxing action on Saturday in Saudi Arabia, with Usyk prevailing by the slimmest of margins.

The Ukrainian is now crowned the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. For the first time since Lennox Lewis in 1999-2000, one man holds the WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO and Ring Magazine belts in boxing’s marquee division.

Bookmakers were barely able to separate the two in the pre-fight odds, and for good reason. This was a bout with more ebbs and flows than a tidal lagoon at full moon, giving the millions who tuned in their money’s worth and then some.

Usyk starts fast, Fury gains control

Of the two, Usyk started faster in this winner-takes-all clash. The 37-year-old got about his business early, making himself a slippery target as he peppered Fury with shots.

Surprisingly, Fury was markedly more jovial than in previous fights. He clowned around and made light of the occasion, putting his hands down and pulling faces several times across the opening rounds.

When Usyk caught him with a left hook and then a straight jab, Fury began to laser in on controlling the fight. And that he did, dominating the middle rounds of the clash with his superior reach and front-foot play.

The ‘Gypsy King’ looked supremely comfortable for the better part of 20 minutes, even wobbling Usyk in the sixth and seventh rounds with strong right hooks.

Heading into round eight, it seemed as though this one was in the bag for Fury, and it was simply a case of maintaining the status quo until the final bell — that is, until Usyk flipped the script.

Fury rocked in fight-defining round

Just when it seemed that Fury was in control, Usyk landed the first punches that did real damage in this bout. The Ukrainian caught his opponent with a left hook to the nose and was rewarded with a good deal of blood and swelling around the eye.

From here, it was a downhill slide, with Usyk flooring Fury soon after.

For a good 30 seconds, the Brit did a remarkable impersonation of one of those inflatable men outside car dealerships — legs entirely gone, saved only by the bell.

Impressively, Fury managed to regather himself and fight out the remaining rounds. But the damage was done, and after the bell, the judges ruled in favour of Usyk.

The contest was not without one last twist, however, as the fight was called a split decision.

Punters that had the foresight to throw down a wager on this specific method of victory will have been laughing all the way to the bank. The top boxing bookmakers had a split decision returning as much as +1100, with Bet365 putting the outcome at a steady +900 just before the fight began.

A rematch is already lined up for October 2024, and there’ll be plenty of betting opportunities then too.

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