It was a double header of fight for Nigerians to look forward to on Saturday night, as Nigerian-born British boxer Anthony Joshua (AJ) took to the ring for his long-waited rematch with undefeated Ukranian fighter Oleksandr Usyk and UFC fighter Kamaru Usman battled Jamaican fighter Leon Edwards. Bad news though, both fighters with Nigerian backgrounds lost their fights.
Usyk had handed Joshua only his second career defeat in 2021, and returned to do it again. Although as sports majors report, this fight was closer than the previous one, as Joshua was much more improved. However, the Ukranian Olympic Champion proved a tad too much for him and the judges declared him winner.
Usyk, now unbeaten at 20-0, immediately called out Tyson Fury, who announced his latest retirement earlier this month but has signalled his willingness to resume his career.
Victory over the 6ft 9ins (2.06m) Fury would unite all four heavyweight belts and constitute a crowning glory for the terrifying Ukrainian.
“I’m sure that Tyson Fury is not retired yet,” Usyk who dedicated his victory to his warring nation, told the crowd. “I’m convinced he wants to fight me. I want to fight him. If I’m not fighting Tyson Fury, I’m not fighting at all.”
Meanwhile, UFC welterweight champion, Kamarudeen Usman (Kamaru Usman for short) was knocked out by Leon Edwards at UFC 278. Usman had to be taken to the hospital after the incident but appears to be fine now after releasing a tweet that said he will be returning for vengeance.
Usman was on his way to making the sixth defence of his title against Edwards after being up on the judges’ scorecards heading into the final round of the fight. ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ was in control of the fifth round and seemed to be cruising his way to a decision win, but Edwards landed a perfect head kick that rendered him unconscious as he suffered his first-ever UFC defeat.
Usman had won 13 consecutive fights since his first meeting with Edwards in 2015, knocking out top contenders such as Jorge Masvidal and Gilbert Burns during that run.
Usman’s loss sets up a potential trilogy with Edwards, with the scores between the two now being one apiece.