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A look back at Oleksandr Usyk’s career

When it comes down to pure boxing skill and IQ, Oleksandr Usyk is regarded as one of the best in pound-for-pound boxing. The Ukrainian learned his trade from him in the amateur game, where he held an impressive career with many achievements and an emphatic record.

Oleksandr Usyk mostly competed as a heavyweight during his amateur career, where he performed against the likes of Joe Joyce and Artur Beterbiev in big competitions.

The skilled fighter racked up an amateur record of 335-15 and secured a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics. He also won a gold medal at the 2011 World Championships in Baku.

Oleksandr Usyk with an Olympic Gold Medal

Oleksandr Usyk holds a professional record of 19-0 with 13 of which, coming by knockout. The southpaw holds a knockout rate of 68.42% with more than half of his knockouts from him coming in the second half of his fights.

The Ukrainian has proven to be very difficult to beat due to his unique fighting ability, as well as being a southpaw Usyk is hard to hit. The 35-year-old constantly moves back and forth, using his lead foot to slip his opponents’ jab. The athlete’s footwork is aided through training using the agility ladder.

Furthermore, the heavyweight has occasionally trained in the same camp as former three-weight world champion Vasyl Lomachenko. Lomachenko is known for his distinctive training methods, including psychological drills. This involves playing with puzzles, improving reactions, mathematical problem solving and much more.

This is a key factor as to why both Ukrainians have such a high IQ in the ring. In addition to this, Usyk is able to retain his tempo throughout the entire contest due to his amazing stamina and endurance. The champion does a lot of fitness training to aid him inside the squared circle, including hill sprints and swimming.

Who else is there to target for Oleksandr Usyk?

Oleksandr Usyk has already faced some huge names in the sport during his career, but he’s currently in a division that’s stacked with talent.

A matchup against Tyson Fury would be huge for boxing, especially if the fight is for the undisputed mantle. Both men’s styles would set up an epic showcase, considering the high level of boxing IQ and footwork from both athletes.

Fury is significantly taller than Usyk but the Ukrainian’s ability to close the distance is second to none.

Tyson Fury (left) v Dillian Whyte (right) - Getty ImagesDeontay Wilder v Luis Ortiz - Getty Images

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Beterbiev still has some challenges that he must face before looking to leave the light-heavyweight division. These include Dmitry Bivol, Anthony Yarde, Joshua Buatsi and possibly Canelo Alvarez.

If the heavy-handed 37-year-old can surpass his current hurdles, he will look to challenge himself even further in the heavyweight rankings.

Edited by John Cunningham


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