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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

in the melee of IPL - there are other Sports too - Boxing Bout !!

After 70  matches – IPL entered the next phase -  Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma have been shaking all opponents hitting so many sixers ! – yesterday it was different.   They challenge came from the costliest buy – Mitchell Starc and his romance with the white ball, which moved appreciably. The leftie running in beautifully was spotting and hitting the fluorescent stumps and fished out Travis Head for another duck.  KKR had a field day, plunging easily into finals.  When there is IPL, we tend to miss out everything else – in between there was a much hyped Boxing bout !

Sixty  years on from the legendary boxing match in which Muhammad Ali beat Sonny Liston to become heavyweight champion of the world for the first time,  there have been discussions and a decade ago, new documents came to light revealing that the shock result was really a fix. The fight between reigning champion Liston and brash young upstart Ali - then known as Cassius Clay – took place on Feb. 25, 1964, at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Ali, just 22, entered the ring as a 7-1 underdog, but pulled off a shock victory which laid the foundations for his glittering career to follow.  When Liston quit after the seventh round and Ali started jumping and waving his hands, yelling'I'm king of the world! I'm king of the world!'.. .. .. Presently it is about the bout between Usyk and Fury. 

This is the story of Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali), generally considered among the greatest heavyweights in the sport's history. He is one of the most recognized sports figures of the past 100 years, crowned"Sportsman of the Century" by Sports Illustrated and "Sports Personality of the Century" by the BBC.  Ali revolutionized the sport of boxing by sheer power and magnetism of his personality.  At a time when most fighters let their managers do the talking, Ali thrived in — and indeed craved — the spotlight, where he was sometimes provocative, frequently outlandish and almost always entertaining.

In boxing, the undisputed champion of a weight class is the boxer who simultaneously holds world titles from all major organizationsrecognized by each other and the International Boxing Hall of Fame. There are currently four major sanctioning bodies: WBA, WBC, WBO, and IBF. There were many undisputed champions before the number of major sanctioning bodies recognizing each other increased to four in 2007, but there have been only 20 boxers (10 males and 10 females) to hold all four titles simultaneously. 

Oleksandr Oleksandrovych Usyk, born 1987,  is a Ukrainian professional boxer. He is the undisputed heavyweight champion, holding the WBA (Super), IBF and WBO titles since 2021, the Ring magazine title since 2022, and the WBC title since 2024.   His challenger, Tyson Luke Fury  born 1988,  is a British professional boxer. He has held multiple heavyweight world titles. He also held the International Boxing Organization (IBO) title during his first reign as champion.In 2015, his victorious fight against Wladimir Klitschko was named Upset of the Year and earned him Fighter of the Year by The Ring.

Oleksandr Usyk has been shorter, lighter and older than all of his opponents since he moved up to the heavyweight division.Usyk's heart and skill are enormous, and he overcame a major size disadvantage against Tyson Fury to become the world's first undisputed heavyweight boxing champion in 24 years.Usyk defeated Fury by split decision on Sunday, knocking down his hulking opponent in the ninth round and eventually earning a narrow win on two scorecards. The 37-year-old Ukrainian is the first heavyweight to hold every major title belt since Lennox Lewis.

Usyk (22-0) added Fury’s WBC title to his own WBA, IBF and WBO belts with a spectacular late-round rally in a back-and-forth matchup between two previously unbeaten champions from a strong era of heavyweight boxing. Two judges favored Usyk, 115-112 and 114-113, while the third gave it to Fury, 114-113.

“It’s a great time. It’s a great day,” said Usyk, who is 6 inches shorter than Fury and weighed in 30 pounds lighter this week.Usyk started quickly, but then had to survive while the confident, charismatic Fury dominated the middle rounds. Usyk surged in the final rounds, just as the Olympic gold medalist has done so many times in his career, taking control with a dominant eighth and nearly stopping Fury in the ninth.Usyk hurt the 6-foot-9 Fury (34-1-1) with a left hand and eventually sent him sprawling into a corner in the final seconds of the round, getting credit for a knockdown right before Fury was saved by the bell.

Fury kissed Usyk on the head after the final bell, and Usyk hugged Fury several moments after the decision was read. “I believe I won that fight,” Fury said. “I believe he won a few of the rounds, but I won the majority of them, and I believe it was one of those what-can-you-do, one of them ... decisions in boxing. We both put on a good fight, best we can do."You know, his country is at war, so people are siding with a country at war. But make no mistake, I won that fight, in my opinion, and I’ll be back. I’ve got a rematch clause.”- Fury was to say.  Usyk landed 41% of his 407 punches, while Fury landed just 31.7% of his 496 punches, according to CompuBox statistics. Usyk both threw (260 to 210) and landed (122 to 95) more power punches.

The most recent undisputed heavyweight champ was Lewis, who beat Evander Holyfield in late 1999 and enjoyed a five-month reign. He soon lost a title because of the territorial squabbles that have beset boxing for the past quarter-century and routinely prevented the biggest fights from happening.Fury and Usyk both asked for this matchup, and they finally got together in the ring largely because of the involvement of Saudi Arabia, which made the financial rewards simply too great for the fighters’ typically recalcitrant promoters and the sanctioning bodies to reject.

For a commoner, it is difficult to understand the game generally perceived as gory !

With regards – S Sampathkumar

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