'I won that fight': Tyson Fury calls for rematch after undisputed defeat to Oleksandr Usyk

Former world champion beaten on a split decision in Riyadh after surviving a ninth-round knockdown

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Former WBC and lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury is convinced he beat Oleksandr Usyk in their historic undisputed title bout in Riyadh and has called for an immediate rematch.

Fury suffered the first defeat of his 36-fight professional career early on Sunday morning as Usyk secured a split decision victory with scores of 115-112, 113-114, 114-113.

With the win, Usyk becomes the first undisputed heavyweight world champion of the four-belt era and the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis 25 years ago. The Ukrainian is also only the third male fighter, after Terence Crawford and Naoya Inoue, to hold all four titles simultaneously in two divisions having previously dominated at cruiserweight.

In a fight as razor-close as had been predicted in the build-up, Usyk got the better of the opening rounds before Fury hit his stride in the fourth, engaging in some showmanship as he started to catch Usyk with vicious body shots, but the Ukrainian battled back with several stinging reminders of his power.

Usyk turned the tide in the eighth round and few would have been surprised had the referee stopped the fight in the ninth as the Ukrainian's powerful punches to the head left Fury reeling.

The previously undefeated Briton managed to hang on until the bell but he struggled through the final three rounds of the fight as Usyk chased him down to edge him out on the judges' scorecards.

Despite narrowly escaping a first knockout, Fury believes he did enough to win the fight and said he is already looking forward to running it back. A rematch option was placed in both fighters' contracts, opening the door for another thrilling showdown later this year.

"I believe I won that fight," Fury, 35, said. "I believe he won a few of the rounds, but I won the majority of them, and I believe it was one of those what-can-you-do, one of them decisions in boxing.

"We both put on a good fight, best we can do. But make no mistake, I won that fight, in my opinion, and I'll be back. I've got a rematch clause."

Fury's promoter Frank Warren confirmed that a rematch was the top priority for both him and his fighter, with the second bout likely to take place in October, although there have been some suggestions Fury could retire.

"That's what the contract says. It's what he wants. It's his call, it's Tyson's call," Warren said. "So whatever he wants to do, it's up to him."

Usyk said he would also be interested in another showdown, stating in the ring: "Yeah of course. I am ready for rematch." When asked later in his post-fight press conference about fighting Fury again, the Ukrainian insisted his only thoughts are on returning home to his family.

After an intriguing 12-round battle that saw both men enjoy success, plenty of boxing fans would relish the chance to see the pair go at it again, especially after Usyk managed to turn the tide.

"We'll go back to our families and I'll see him again in October," Fury said. "We'll go back, rest up. I believe I won the fight but I'm not going to sit and cry and make excuses. We'll run it again in October."

In the co-main event, Australia's Jai Opetaia won a unanimous decision over Mairis Briedis of Latvia to win the vacant IBF cruiserweight title, and Ireland's Anthony Cacace became a world champion after securing a TKO win over Joe Cordina of Wales to add the IBF super-featherweight title to his IBO belt.

Updated: May 21, 2024, 6:28 AM