‘Bizarre incident’ saved Tyson Fury in ninth round against Oleksandr Usyk, says Brit star who lost to Ukrainian /d

TYSON FURY was saved from a brutal knockout loss only thanks to a “bizarre” refereeing decision, it’s been claimed.

The Gypsy King came up short in his bid to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion since fellow Brit Lennox Lewis in his long-overdue Saudi straightener with Oleksandr Usyk.

Tyson Fury faced Oleksandr Usyk for all the heavyweight marbles last weekend

Tyson Fury faced Oleksandr Usyk for all the heavyweight marbles last weekendCredit: GETTY

The Gypsy King suffered a split decision defeat to the Ukrainian

The Gypsy King suffered a split decision defeat to the UkrainianCredit: PA

Fury was almost finished in the ninth round

Fury was almost finished in the ninth roundCredit: TNT SPORTS

But referee Mark Nelson bizarrely stopped Usyk from landing a telling blow

But referee Mark Nelson bizarrely stopped Usyk from landing a telling blowCredit: TNT SPORTS

Fury, 35, suffered a split decision loss in a Riyadh rumble that will live long in the memory.

The Wythenshawe warrior looked to be cruising to a points victory before he was rocked by a huge left hand in the final minute of the ninth round.

Fury was pinged around the ring in the final seconds of the stanza and was seemingly saved from a knockout loss by referee Mark Nelson, who stunningly intervened to give him a standing count.

The decision to stop Usyk from landing a potentially fatal blow didn’t go unnoticed by boxing experts, including the champ’s former foe Tony Bellew.

During an appearance on Good Morning Britain, the former WBC cruiserweight titleholder said: “I thought Oleksandr Usyk was a worthy winner.

“I thought in that ninth round, Tyson Fury does amazingly to stabilise himself.

“But it was a bizarre incident in that it actually shouldn’t have been a count.

“Tyson Fury is still standing and Oleksandr Usyk should still be allowed to throw punches.”


Victory over Fury saw Usyk become a two-weight undisputed world champion in only his 22nd professional fight.

The Ukrainian now has a serious claim to be the pound-for-pound best fighter on the planet.
Wally Downes Jr reacts as Usyk dethrones Tyson Fury is epic Saudi clash
But Bellew also reckons his former foe is arguably the best fighter of the modern era.

‘The Bomber’ continued: “The most important thing is the right man was awarded the victory.

“Because we couldn’t have had a decision that went wrong or sat wrong with boxing.

“And ultimately, boxing has won on Saturday night. And it’s on the grand stage again.

“Boxing is the greatest of all sports and on Saturday night, we saw why.

“It was an amazing fight by two amazing fighters.

“And Oleksandr Usyk cements his legacy as probably one of the greatest fighters of his era – if not the greatest.”

Fusy vs Usyk: Round by round verdict

HERE’S how SunSport’s Chisanga Malata saw the fight as Oleksandr Usyk was crowned undisputed king of the world against Tyson Fury.


Here we go. Both men look to establish dominance early by taking the centre of the ring.

Fury marches down the Ukrainian, who opens up with a stiff body shot.

The Gypsy King looks massive in comparison to Usyk, who is no dwarf whatsoever.

Usyk is happy to operate on the outside, although the early jab he’s eaten will have given him some food for thought.

Fury is trying to draw out attacks from Usyk, who is not putting too much into his punches.

Fury gets backed into the corner and channels his inner Muhammad Ali by doing the rope-a-dope.

Usyk lands a big overhand left just seconds before backing Fury into the corner.

Fury dodges the ensuing flurry and gestures to the crowd as if demanding them to acknowledge his head movement. USYK 10-9


Usyk opens up the round with a big one-two that snaps back the head of Fury.

Fury tries to make light of it but that combo clearly stunned him.

Usyk is setting the stone and the pressure as he advances forward.

A big uppercut narrowly misses for Fury, who knows all too well that’s the shot to deploy on a shorter opponent.

Fury is throwing more punches but isn’t being as accurate as Usyk.

Usyk backs up Fury into the corner and lands a good three-punch combo.

But Fury comes roaring back with a hard body shot after circling away from danger.

Fury finally lands an uppercut, albeit to the body of the former cruiserweight king. FURY 10-9


Fury is on his bike after the restart and lands a stiff straight right from range.

Usyk has decided to close the distance after eating that shot and is going to work on Fury’s trimmed-down torso.

A solid overhand left snaps back the head of Fury with just over a minute of the stanza remaining.

Fury lands a good combo with thirty seconds remaining. But he gets pushed back against the ring again and eats another flurry before the bell. USYK 10-9

Round 4

Fury goes to work to the body with two hard shots after the restart.

He’s absolutely loving this, dancing around after landing his shots.

But he’s still allowing himself to get backed up and invite the pressure from Usyk.

Fury lands a beautiful counter right as Usyk comes forward.

Usyk has his head snapped back by another hellacious uppercut.

Both men nearly land hard back hands before the bell, with Fury narrowly missing an uppercut and Usyk an overhand left. FURY 10-9

Round 5

Usyk takes the centre of the ring after the restart and looks to feint his way into range.

Fury is doing a good job of keeping the Ukrainian at bay when he looks to close the distance.

A rasping uppercut snaps back the head of Usyk.

Fury is hurting Usyk to the body with relentless hooks to the midriff. FURY 10-9

Round 6

Usyk is on the front foot straight after the restart and is looking to put Fury on the back foot again.

A hard body shot to the solar plexus gives Usyk more food for thought.

Fury almost closed the show with a huge uppercut with a minute and a half of the round remaining.

But he finds a home for it 20 seconds later and Usyk is in retreat mode.

Fury closes out the round with a bit of showboating, put his hands behind his back before resting his arms on the ropes.

A huge round for the Wythenshawe warrior. FURY 10-9

Round 7

Usyk once again closes the distance after the restart but he’s getting picked off at range.

And when he does take a step back, his body is getting blasted by nasty hooks.

Usyk finds a home for his straight left but Fury eats it like a packed lunch made by his loving wife Paris.

Another straight left snaps back the head of Fury, who circles back out of range to try to create space for a body shot

Usyk manages to close the distance with seconds remaining ad finds a home for a two-punch combo.

But Fury manages to circle away to hear the bell. FURY 10-9

Round 8

Fury is happy to operate on the back foot in the eighth and pick his shots.

But he gets his dome rattled by back-to-back straight left hands – which he brushes off before going back to feinting and trying to create space for a body shot.

Usyk briefly finds himself dealing with Fury’s weight in the clinch after landing a good straight left.

Fury is bleeding profusely from his nose. I’m not what caused the damage. Big round that for Usyk. USYK 10-9

Round 9

Fury is doing a good job of bamboozling Usyk with feints, but the Ukrainian continues to come forward.

But he’s slowly but surely allowing the gap to be closed, which leads to him eating a big left hand flush in the corner.

Fury gets hurt and is stumbling around the ring. It was a left hand that did the damage.

Fury doesn’t know where he is and is eating a barrage of crisp follow-up shots. He beats the count and the bell thankfully saves him. USYK 10-8

Round 10

Usyk – like the Big Cat he is – senses blood and isn’t giving Fury any respite.

Fury is barely throwing anything and what he is throwing is telegraphed and slow.

Usyk looks tired, but he needs to keep his foot on the gas pedal if he’s to have any chance of becoming a two-weight undisputed champion. USYK 10-9

Round 11

A desperate Usyk, spurred on by the plight of his fellow Ukrainians back home, immediately goes to work after the restart.

Fury tries to keep him at bay with the jab but is struggling to pump it out with the stiffness it had in the early rounds.

Usyk briefly traps the WBC king in the corner and lands a rasping left hand.

Usyk doubles up with two left hands that briefly back Fury against the ropes.

The round ends with yet another big overhand left from Usyk. USYK 10-9

Round 12

The fans in attendance at the Kingdom Arena cheer both warriors on after the final restart of the fight.

Fury is playing matador as Usyk looks to step into range to land his left hand.

And he finds a home for it with a minute and a half of the stanza remaining.

A chopping right hand sends Fury backwards, but he returns fire with a booking shot of his own that backs up the southpaw.

Fury puts his hands behind his back in a bid to goad Usyk to making a sloppy mistake in the closing seconds.

But he stays sharp as he looks to close the distance, which Fury times to initiate a clinch. FURY 10-9

TOTAL Fury 113 Usyk 114

Fury will have the opportunity to exact his revenge on the slick southpaw in a rematch in October, should he choose to exercise his contractual right to a second fight.

And given his suggestion the Olympian was gifted the decision because his homeland is still in the midst of a war with Russia, it’s likely he will exercise it in the coming weeks.

He fumed: “His country is at war.

“So people are siding with someone whose country is at war. I won that fight.”

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