Written by 11:21 am In the News

Champion honours the cross

Ukranian Oleksandr Usyk made boxing history on May 18, beating Tyson Fury by split decision on the back of a huge ninth round to swing the momentum; he was seen kissing a cross during the intervals of his undisputed fight against Fury.

Usyk triumphed over Fury in a split decision, becoming the first undisputed heavyweight world champion in 25 years following their high-profile bout. Despite Fury’s strong start, Usyk took control in the latter half of the match.

A key moment occurred after the seventh round when Usyk, a devout Christian, returned to his corner. A member of his team handed him a cross, which he kissed before commencing the next round.

The undisputed heavyweight Boxing world champion kissed a cross between rounds in the match which made him the first to hold the undisputed title in 25 years.

Usyk, who is now only the third male boxer in the four belt era to be so at two weight classes, then “went up the gears” fans have said, to win the title from British opponent Tyson Fury.

The married father of three is an Orthodox Christian. He has previously said, after a fight against Anthony Joshua: “The only thing I wanted to do with this fight is to give praise to my Lord Jesus Christ and to say that all comes from him.”

The match, which Usyk said he had been preparing for, nonstop, for nine months, took place in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

Cameras captured the moment when Usyk’s cornerman approached, saying: “You want the crucifix?”

“Yes”, Usyk replied.

The moment is then obscured by the cornerman’s body, leading some to suggest that he was using an inhaler.

But one fan wrote on social media “You must have not watched Usyk fight before, he kisses his cross in between rounds”.

Footage of the moment went viral, sparking comment in The Mirror about the “key moment” after the seventh round.

“The moment seemed to breathe new life into Usyk as he hurt Fury in the eighth before almost knocking him out in the ninth round”, the newspaper reported.

Fury’s post-fight comments, suggesting the split-decision points victory was given to Usyk because Ukraine is at war, “let himself and boxing down”, according to the i newspaper.

The Gold medal winning Olympian was described as “the worthiest of champions”, with the i saying it was farcical to suggest otherwise.

(Picture Courtesy: Reuters)

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