Oleksandr Usyk is the new WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion of the world after, in a riveting display of skill and nerve, he outpointed Anthony Joshua to win a clear and unanimous decision.

His commanding victory was not a shock because the unbeaten Ukrainian is a former undisputed world cruiserweight champion and, before the fight, there was widespread consensus among boxing’s cognoscenti that Usyk is a much more natural and gifted fighter than Joshua.

The supremely confident new champion showcased his enviable ringcraft throughout the fight and, long before the end, Joshua looked dispirited and a little lost.

The outgoing champion’s huge physical advantages over Usyk mattered little on a night when intelligence and skill trumped brute force. In the end it was Joshua who was being pummelled on the ropes and looking close to being stopped.

(NAN)