“Rage on the Red Sea” at the Jeddah Super Dome in Saudi Arabia over DAZN Saturday promoted by Eddie Hearn (Matchroom Boxing), Khalid Bin Abdulaziz (Skill Challenge Entertainment) and Alexander Krassyuk (K2 Promotions) in the Main Event the 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist, WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO World Heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk won by split decision over former Olympic Gold Medalist and world champion Anthony “AJ” Joshua.
In the Main Event WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO World Heavyweight champ Oleksandr Usyk, 19-0 (13), #221 ½, of Shypyntsi, UKR, and Oxnard, CA, former champ Anthony “AJ” Joshua, 24-2 (22), #244 ½, of Watford, Hertfordshire, UK, 12 rounds.
In the first round Usyk used an effective jab having Joshua hands held high mostly on the defense. In the second and third rounds Joshua outworked Usyk coming forward backing the champion up with a solid right hook in the third from Joshua rocking Usyk. In the fourth round Usyk came back well showing good movement against the taller Joshua landing his left to the chin on numerous occasions.
In the fifth round it was close with Joshua warned for a low blow from Referee Louis Pabon. Usyk had an edge. In the sixth round it went back and forth with Joshua using his reach but Usyk still the busier of the two.
In the seventh round Usyk continued out landing Joshua mostly with the jab. In the eighth round Joshua worked the body well taking the round though a close one. In the ninth round it was all Joshua taking it to Usyk having him holding at times.
In the tenth round Usyk had Joshua hurt for the most part of the first half when Joshua hurt Usyk with a right only for Usky to come back taking the round. In the eleventh round it went back and forth as Usyk continued coming back well as Joshua tried bullying him to the ropes before getting tied up. Joshua may have gotten away with several low blows.
In the twelfth and final round the referee failed to warn Joshua time and again for rough tactics as he was near exhaustion with him hurting Usyk halfway through the round otherwise it was Usyk taking the round.
Scores were 115-113 Joshua, 115-113 Usyk and 116-112 as did this writer.
Former WBA and WBC World Super Middleweight champ WBC Ranked No. 1 ranked Callum ‘Mundo’ Smith, 29-1 (21), #174 ¾, of Liverpool, UK, stopped southpaw Euro champ and WBC No. 2 ranked Mathieu Bauderlique, 21-2 (12), #174 ½, of Henin-Beaumont, Pas-de-Calais, FR, scoring a pair of knockdowns at 1:53 of the fourth round for WBC world light heavyweight title eliminator in a 12.
In the first two rounds each had their moments taking a round. In the fourth round Smith dropped Bauderlique with a left on the chin who took an 8-count from Referee Hector Afu. He had held his own up to that point. Smith followed up with a double left hook on the chin almost putting Bauderlique through the ropes ending the fight.
In the co-feature former IBF International Heavyweight champ Filip “El Animal” Hrgovic, 15-0 (12), #243, of Zagreb, CR, edged out Zhilei “Big Bang” Zhang, 24-1-1 (19), #277, of Zhoukou, CH, who scored the lone knockdown over 12 rounds.
In the first round with forty seconds remaining a right hook from Zhang on the top of the head dropped Hrgovic for an 8-count from Referee Malik Waleed. In the second round Hrgovic came back to dominate the round out landing him and rocking him in the final half minute with a right on the chin.
In the third round Zhang caused a clash of heads with Hrgovic cut on the hairline and Zhang a small lump on his forehead with Hrgovic taking a close round. In the fourth round Zhang came back well in a spirited round that was all his.
In the fifth round’s final seconds Zhang hurt Hrgovic with a left on the chin. In the sixth round Zhang had Hrgovic hurt landing half a dozen unanswered punches halfway through the round. In the seventh and eighth rounds Hrgovic came back well landing lead rights on the chin of Zhang who may be tiring.
In the ninth round Zhang had Hrgovic out on his feet at the bell. In the tenth round Hrgovic came back to outwork Zhang. In the eleventh round both fighters were near exhaustion as Zhang went down from a slippery logo in the middle of the canvas in a round Hrgovic landed a right as Zhang went down.
In the twelfth and final round Hrgovic had Zhang all but out at the end with both reduced to slow motion.
Scores were 115-112 twice and 114-113 as did this writer.
Former WBC Super Middleweight and WBA Light Heavyweight champ Badou Jack “The Ripper”, 27-3-3 (16), #199, of Stockholm, SW, and Las Vegas, NV, won a split decision over Richard “Popeye the Sailor Man” Rivera, 21-1 (16), #195, of Hartford, CT, over 10 rounds.
In the first two rounds Rivera came out swinging wildly with over hand rights putting Jack on the defense for the most part. In the third and fourth rounds Jack came forward only landing body shots in a clinch but was still outworked. Rivera landed three straight uppercuts to the chin of Jack.
In the fifth round Jack finally landed a good right on the face of Rivera causing a red mark under the right eye of Rivera. In the sixth and seventh rounds Rivera was out landing Jack. In the eighth round Jack had Rivera rocked on several occasions with left hooks to the chin in a round that went four minutes.
In the ninth round Jack did well though seemingly behind on points. In the tenth and final round Rivera out landed Jack with overhand rights until the final half minute of the round when Jack rocked Rivera with a right cross to the chin. Referee was Frank Garza.
Scores were 96-94 Rivera, 96-94 Jack and 96-94 Jack with this writer 96-94 Rivera.
Cruiserweight Andrew “Beast” Tabiti, 20-1 (16), #216 ¾, of Las Vegas, NV, stopped James “The Beast” Wilson, 7-1-1 (6), #238 ½, of North Hollywood, CA, who didn’t come out for round six, in an 8.
In fifth round Tabiti dropped Wilson for an 8-count from Referee Daniel Van de Wiele.
Super Bantamweight Olympian Ramla Ali, 7-0 (1), #122 ½, of Somalia and Greenwich, London, UK, knocked out Crystal “Barh Garcia” Nova, 10-3 (10), #123, of Santo Domingo, DR, at 1:05 of the first of a scheduled 8.
In the first round an overhand right from Ali on the chin of Nova knocked out the mouthpiece in dropping her for the count on a knee from Referee Frank Garza
Super Lightweight Bader “The Master” Samreen, 6-0 (5), #136 ¼, of Amman, Jordan, stopped Fuad “The Flash” Tarverdi, 5-3 (4), #135 ¾, of Lankaran, AZB, at 1:16 of the fourth and final round.
In the first three rounds Samreen dominated Tarverdi. Twice in the third round Tarverdi turned his back on Samreen getting warnings from Referee David Irving. In the fourth and final round near the end of the first minute a right uppercut from Samreen on the chin dropped Tarverdi for an 8-count. Later in the round the referee Irving waved the mismatch off with Tarverdi doing little back in any offense.
Super Lightweight Ziyad “Zizo” Almaayouf, 1-0 (1), #139 ¼, of Rias, Saudi Arabia and L.A., CA, stopped Alfredo Alatorre, 0-1 (0), #137, of Guadala, Mexico, at 2:55 of the first round of a 4.
In the first round Alatorre took it to Almaayouf backing him up for the first minute. Halfway through the round a lead right from Almaayouf on the chin and down went Alatorre for an 8-count from Referee Daniel Van de Wiele. In the final forty seconds a three punch combination from Almaayouf on the chin and down went Alatorre as the referee waved it off.
Almaayouf was born in Egypt and now trained by former world champ Buddy McGirt.
Ring Announcer David Diamantee