Was Oleksandr Usyk Undisputed?

Mike Pedersen

Was Oleksandr Usyk undisputed

Oleksandr Usyk, a name that resonates with boxing enthusiasts, has proven himself as one of the top contenders in the heavyweight division. With a remarkable background as a former undisputed cruiserweight champion, Usyk set his sights on the heavyweight throne.

In a monumental bout in 2021, he faced off against Anthony Joshua, the reigning heavyweight titleholder. This clash of titans resulted in a resounding victory for Usyk, as he dethroned Joshua and secured the IBF, WBO, and WBA titles. While his triumph was undeniably significant, the question lingers: Was Oleksandr Usyk truly undisputed?

In this blog, we delve into the meaning of undisputed champions in boxing, examine the criteria that define this status, and explore the specific circumstances surrounding Usyk’s ascent to the heavyweight summit. Join us as we navigate the world of professional boxing and unravel the truth behind Oleksandr Usyk’s undisputed claims.

Definition of Undisputed Champion

Meaning of an Undisputed Champion in Boxing

Being an undisputed champion in boxing is the pinnacle of achievement in the sport. It refers to a boxer who holds all four major world titles within a weight division simultaneously.

The four major sanctioning bodies recognized in boxing are the World Boxing Association (WBA), World Boxing Council (WBC), International Boxing Federation (IBF), and World Boxing Organization (WBO). To become undisputed, a boxer must unify all these titles by defeating the respective champions or securing the vacant belts.

Achieving undisputed status signifies supremacy and dominance in a weight class, as the boxer has proven their superiority over all other contenders.

It is a rare and coveted accomplishment that solidifies a fighter’s legacy and places them among the all-time greats of the sport. The path to undisputed glory requires exceptional skill, determination, and often involves facing the toughest challenges in the division.

The Four Major Sanctioning Bodies in Boxing 

The WBA, WBC, IBF, and WBO are the four primary sanctioning bodies that govern professional boxing. Each organization independently awards world titles in different weight classes. These bodies play a crucial role in determining champions, rankings, and facilitating championship bouts.

The World Boxing Association (WBA) is the oldest sanctioning body and often recognizes multiple champions within the same weight division due to their various title designations, such as “super,” “regular,” or “interim” champions.

The World Boxing Council (WBC) is renowned for its prestigious green and gold belt. It places emphasis on social responsibility and is known for its involvement in humanitarian causes.

The International Boxing Federation (IBF) focuses on stringent rules and rankings, and it is known for its commitment to mandating mandatory title defenses.

The World Boxing Organization (WBO) is the youngest of the four major organizations, established in 1988. It has gained prominence and is recognized for its regional and international championship titles.

These four sanctioning bodies collectively determine the landscape of professional boxing, and their titles are highly sought after by fighters aiming to solidify their positions as world champions.

Usyk’s Move to Heavyweight Division

Usyk’s Decision to Move Up in Weight

Before his move to the heavyweight division, Oleksandr Usyk had already established himself as a dominant force in the cruiserweight division. He embarked on an impressive amateur career, winning numerous titles, including Olympic gold in 2012.

As a professional, he entered the cruiserweight scene in 2013 and quickly made waves with his exceptional boxing skills, footwork, and ability to control the ring.

Usyk’s rise to prominence in the cruiserweight division was remarkable. He went on to capture all major titles, becoming the undisputed cruiserweight champion by defeating Murat Gassiev in a thrilling final of the World Boxing Super Series tournament in July 2018.

Usyk’s success at cruiserweight solidified his reputation as one of the most talented boxers in the world.

Given his achievements and a desire to test himself against the best in a higher weight class, Usyk made the bold decision to move up to the heavyweight division.

This decision was met with anticipation and intrigue, as many wondered if his skills would translate to the bigger and more powerful heavyweight opponents.

Initial Fights and Rise in the Heavyweight Division

Usyk’s debut in the heavyweight division came in October 2019 when he faced Chazz Witherspoon. Despite a late replacement opponent, Usyk showcased his technical prowess and secured a seventh-round stoppage victory, making a statement about his arrival in the heavyweight scene.

Following his successful debut, Usyk faced a more significant challenge in Dereck Chisora in October 2020. Chisora was a seasoned heavyweight with notable wins and posed a stern test for Usyk.

However, Usyk displayed his superior boxing skills, utilizing his movement and precision to outbox Chisora and secure a unanimous decision victory.

These initial fights solidified Usyk’s position as a serious contender in the heavyweight division. His undefeated record and impressive performances garnered attention from fans and experts alike, setting the stage for his eventual title shot against Anthony Joshua.

The rise of Usyk in the heavyweight division showcased his ability to seamlessly transition from cruiserweight to heavyweight and maintain his effectiveness against larger opponents. With each victory, he built momentum and positioned himself as a formidable threat to the established heavyweight hierarchy.

Usyk Vs. Joshua Fight

The Fight and Significance in Heavyweight Division

The highly anticipated showdown between Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua took place on [insert date] and carried immense significance in the heavyweight division.

It was a clash between two highly skilled fighters, with Usyk looking to solidify his status in the heavyweight division and Joshua aiming to defend his titles and maintain his position as one of the top heavyweights in the world.

The fight showcased contrasting styles, with Usyk relying on his superior footwork, agility, and technical boxing skills, while Joshua possessed explosive power and athleticism. The bout generated intense excitement among fans and experts, as it had the potential to reshape the heavyweight landscape.

Breakdown of the Titles: IBF, WBO, and WBA

The Usyk vs. Joshua fight had significant implications for the heavyweight titles. The IBF (International Boxing Federation), WBO (World Boxing Organization), and WBA (World Boxing Association) titles were all at stake.

Anthony Joshua entered the fight as the reigning champion, holding the IBF, WBO, and WBA titles. The IBF is known for its strict mandatory defense requirements, the WBO is recognized for its international presence and competitive rankings, while the WBA is one of the oldest and most respected sanctioning bodies in boxing.

Oleksandr Usyk, having moved up from the cruiserweight division, aimed to capture these three major titles and establish himself as a dominant force in the heavyweight division. The outcome of the fight would determine the redistribution of these titles and potentially set the stage for future unification bouts.

Usyk’s Performance and Victory Over Joshua

In a stunning upset, Oleksandr Usyk showcased his exceptional skills and outclassed Anthony Joshua to secure a unanimous decision victory. Usyk’s performance was characterized by his masterful footwork, accuracy, and ability to neutralize Joshua’s power.

Throughout the fight, Usyk consistently moved around the ring, frustrating Joshua and preventing him from finding his rhythm. Usyk’s lateral movement and counterpunching prowess allowed him to land clean, effective shots while minimizing the risks of Joshua’s power punches.

Usyk’s victory over Joshua not only marked his successful transition to the heavyweight division but also showcased his ability to adapt his style and overcome a formidable opponent.

His technical brilliance and strategic approach earned him the respect and admiration of the boxing world, solidifying his position among the top heavyweights.

The win also meant that Usyk became the new IBF, WBO, and WBA champion, further establishing his credentials in the heavyweight division. The victory propelled him into the upper echelons of the weight class and set the stage for potential future unification fights and further challenges to his undisputed status.

WBC Title and Undisputed Status

The WBC Title and Its Importance

The WBC (World Boxing Council) is one of the four major sanctioning bodies in professional boxing. The WBC title holds significant prestige and is highly regarded in the sport. It is often considered one of the key components in determining undisputed status.

To be recognized as the undisputed champion, a boxer must hold all four major titles: WBA, WBC, IBF, and WBO. Since the WBC title is one of these four major titles, its inclusion is crucial for a fighter to achieve undisputed status.

Winning and holding the WBC title is a testament to a boxer’s status as the best in their weight division, and it solidifies their claim as the true champion.

Tyson Fury as the WBC Heavyweight Champion

During Oleksandr Usyk’s victory over Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury held the WBC heavyweight title. Fury, known for his impressive boxing skills and unorthodox style, claimed the WBC title in February 2020 when he defeated Deontay Wilder.

Fury’s reign as the WBC champion was significant as he established himself as one of the top heavyweights in the division. His charismatic personality and victories over notable opponents had garnered attention and created a sense of anticipation for potential unification bouts.

WBC Title and Its Impact on Usyk’s Undisputed Status

While Oleksandr Usyk’s triumph over Anthony Joshua secured the IBF, WBO, and WBA titles, the absence of the WBC title meant that he fell short of achieving undisputed status.Since Tyson Fury held the WBC belt at the time, Usyk’s victory over Joshua did not unify all four major titles.

The missing WBC title has an impact on Usyk’s undisputed status because, without it, he cannot claim to be the sole holder of all the major titles in the heavyweight division.

Achieving undisputed status requires defeating or acquiring the vacant WBC title to complete the collection of all four belts.

However, it is worth noting that Usyk’s victory over Joshua and his possession of three major titles still positions him as a highly respected and formidable champion in the heavyweight division.

The absence of the WBC title creates potential opportunities for future unification fights and the chance for Usyk to pursue undisputed status by challenging Tyson Fury or another contender for the remaining belt.

Usyk’s Three-belt Triumph

Usyk’s Winning the IBF, WBO, and WBA Titles

Oleksandr Usyk’s victory over Anthony Joshua and his subsequent acquisition of the IBF, WBO, and WBA titles cannot be understated. It was a remarkable feat that showcased his exceptional boxing skills, determination, and ability to compete at the highest level in the heavyweight division.

Winning these three major titles solidified Usyk’s status as one of the top heavyweights in the world. Each of these belts represents a significant accomplishment in its own right, as they are recognized and respected by the boxing community.

Usyk’s success in capturing these titles demonstrates his ability to navigate through a highly competitive division and overcome formidable opponents.

Significance of Three Major Belts in Heavyweight Division

Holding three major belts in the heavyweight division is a remarkable achievement that elevates a boxer’s standing in the sport. The IBF, WBO, and WBA titles collectively represent recognition from multiple sanctioning bodies and signify dominance within the weight class.

Usyk’s possession of these three belts highlights his exceptional talent, dedication, and hard work in the pursuit of greatness. It establishes him as a force to be reckoned with in the heavyweight division and solidifies his claim as one of the top contenders.

Furthermore, holding three major titles puts Usyk in a unique position for future opportunities and potential unification fights. It positions him as a key figure in the division, with the potential to challenge other champions or top-ranked contenders in pursuit of becoming the undisputed heavyweight champion.

Other Factors in Undisputed Status

Other Contenders and Champions in the Division

The heavyweight division is filled with talented contenders and champions, adding further complexity to the quest for undisputed status. Some notable figures in the division include Tyson Fury, the reigning WBC champion, who holds victories over top opponents like Deontay Wilder and is widely regarded as one of the best heavyweights in the world.

Additionally, there are fighters like Anthony Joshua, who despite losing to Usyk, remains a formidable presence with his impressive power and athleticism.

Other prominent contenders in the division include Deontay Wilder, who has devastating knockout power, and Dillian Whyte, who has showcased his skills and resilience against top opposition. Rising stars like Joe Joyce and Daniel Dubois also pose threats with their promising performances and growing reputations.

Future Fights to Determine the Undisputed Champion

The heavyweight division is teeming with potential future fights that could ultimately determine the undisputed champion. One highly anticipated matchup is a potential clash between Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury, which would not only unify the WBC title with Usyk’s IBF, WBO, and WBA titles but also potentially determine the undisputed champion.

Additionally, a rematch between Usyk and Anthony Joshua could provide an opportunity for Joshua to reclaim his titles and set the stage for a potential unification bout against Fury or other contenders.

There is also the possibility of a wildcard entry into the mix, such as the emergence of a new rising star or a surprise upset that reshapes the division’s landscape.

The beauty of boxing lies in its unpredictability, and as such, future matchups could present unexpected challenges and contenders vying for the undisputed crown.

Heavyweight Champions and Titles in 2023

FighterTitles Held
Oleksandr UsykIBF, WBO, WBA
Tyson FuryWBC
Anthony JoshuaN/A
Deontay WilderN/A
Dillian WhyteN/A
Andy Ruiz Jr.N/A
Other ContendersN/A


How does Usyk’s move to the heavyweight division affect his legacy as a cruiserweight champion?

Usyk’s move to the heavyweight division adds a new dimension to his legacy as a cruiserweight champion. While his accomplishments at cruiserweight remain remarkable, his decision to challenge the bigger heavyweights demonstrates his ambition and willingness to take on new challenges. It showcases his versatility as a fighter and expands his legacy beyond a single weight class.

Are there any potential obstacles for Usyk in his pursuit of undisputed status?

Usyk’s pursuit of undisputed status faces potential obstacles, including contractual obligations, mandatory challengers, and negotiations between promoters and sanctioning bodies.

How does Usyk’s fighting style translate to the heavyweight division?

Usyk’s fighting style, characterized by his exceptional footwork, technical proficiency, and ability to control distance, has translated well to the heavyweight division so far.

His movement and agility allow him to outmaneuver larger opponents, while his accuracy and ring intelligence help him exploit their vulnerabilities. However, the heavyweight division poses new challenges in terms of size, power, and durability, which Usyk must continuously adapt to as he faces elite heavyweights.

Will Usyk’s success at heavyweight inspire other cruiserweights to move up in weight?

Usyk’s success at heavyweight has the potential to inspire other cruiserweights to move up in weight and pursue similar opportunities. His achievements demonstrate that it is possible to make a successful transition and compete with the bigger heavyweights.

This may encourage other talented cruiserweights to test their skills in the heavyweight division, leading to increased competition and potentially more exciting matchups in the future.

What are the potential future matchups fans are eagerly anticipating for Usyk?

Apart from potential fights with Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua, fans are eagerly anticipating matchups between Usyk and other notable heavyweights such as Deontay Wilder, Dillian Whyte, and Andy Ruiz Jr.

These bouts would serve as exciting tests for Usyk and could shape the division’s landscape further. The potential for unexpected upsets and emerging challengers adds an element of intrigue and anticipation to future matchups involving Usyk.


While Oleksandr Usyk was not undisputed in the heavyweight division, his triumph in capturing the IBF, WBO, and WBA titles solidified his status as a highly skilled and formidable champion.

Holding three major belts in the heavyweight division is a significant achievement that places him among the elite contenders. The missing WBC title creates opportunities for future unification fights and the chance for Usyk to pursue undisputed status. The heavyweight division remains competitive, with fighters like Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua, and other talented contenders vying for supremacy.

The quest for the undisputed champion continues, and the potential for thrilling matchups and surprising outcomes keeps fans eagerly anticipating the future of heavyweight boxing. Usyk’s success serves as a testament to his skill, determination, and potential for even greater achievements in the quest for undisputed glory.

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Mike Pedersen

I'm a sports researcher and writer. I have been involved in sports writing for the last 10 years, so I can help you with your content writing needs. I have experience in sports writing and research as well as copywriting. I also have experience in producing content for digital platforms such as websites and social media channels. But my field of love is Boxing. LinkedIn

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