Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk: Ukrainian's Olympic gold medal fight in 2012


With Anthony Joshua announcing he would fight Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk on September 25 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, we take a look at the Ukrainian’s fight for a gold medal during the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Back in the heavyweight category, he was up against Italian Clemente Russo, and it was clear from early on that he was comfortable in the division, albeit at amateur level.

The first round was a cagey affair, although Russo looked more composed to the point where he completely dropped his guard and was winning 3-1 at the end of the round. Usyk did look more professional in his stance, but was standing off from the Italian, trying to draw him in with his exposed guard. Unfortunately, Russo was not falling for it.

In the second round, Usyk needed to change his game plan and he did that straight away.

Going in hard on Russo, the Ukrainian managed to land a hard hit on his opponent, sending him stumbling back. The referee declared it as a slip at the time, but there is an argument that Russo was running back because of a hit from the strong punch.

Read more: Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk: Date, Odds, Tickets, Stats, Live Stream, Card And Everything You Need To Know

Usyk then started to work the body and was a lot closer to Russo. The change of game plan had stunned the veteran Italian, who didn’t seem to have a counter for the increasing assault from his opponent. Russo looked lazy, perhaps fatigued, but still managed some good shots towards the end of the round.

Usyk had now drawn the contest level after winning the second round 7-5. It was now down to the last three minutes and the Ukrainian had all the momentum. He also looked like the smarter boxer too.

The third round was intense; Russo seemed to be on top at the beginning, but Usyk had brilliant footwork to dodge and counter anything coming from the Italian.

Usyk dug deep and as Russo started to tire towards the end, he looked at some close quarter combinations, which he was doing very well during the second round.


It was a very close contest, but Usyk won the last round 6-3 to win the fight 14-11, giving him an Olympic gold medal and a step towards being one of the best heavyweight professional boxers in the world.

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