Eddie Hearn, promoter for British superstar Anthony Joshua, had scored 115-113 in favor of Oleksandr Usyk in Saturday’s big rematch in Saudi Arabia.
The fight was a rematch of last September’s encounter, which saw Usyk win a dominant twelve round unanimous decision to capture the IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO heavyweight titles.
This time around, Usyk won a twelve round split decision – although most observers felt it was a clear victory for the reigning champion.
The scores were 116-112 and 115-113 for Usyk, with a card judge Glenn Feldman scoring the fight 115-113 for Joshua.
There was some controversy on social media over Feldman’s scorecard, but Hearn does not see a reason for any controversy – due to several rounds being close.
Hearn admits he was blown away by Usyk’s inspiring rally in the championship rounds, starting with the tenth, after being hurt in the ninth by a series of hard shots from Joshua.
“Buncey [Steve Bunce] had Joshua up, a few people had Joshua up. I felt he lost by two rounds but when it’s 115-113, it’s the swing of one or two rounds and you can see it the other way,” Hearn told IFL TV.
“I had AJ level or maybe up at the end of the ninth but Usyk winning the last three rounds. I thought he was incredible and it was one of the great performances. The ninth, Usyk was all over the place. He was hurt badly.
“He looked like he could be done. What he did in the tenth was unbelievable and that’s why he was pound-for-pound number one. The amount of punches he threw in the tenth was incredible. I just couldn’t believe what he did in the championship rounds.”