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Usyk's Rise to the Top, Inspired by a Prince - ‘I copied his moves?’

Oleksandr Usyk, the unified heavyweight world champion, has unveiled that his unique fighting style has been heavily influenced by one of Britain’s most venerated fighters from his amateur days. This unique style has been a critical component in Usyk’s rise to the top.

Best known for his tireless handwork, quick footwork, and smooth boxing maneuvers, the Ukrainian southpaw has made a name for himself for his nimble ring movements. These techniques have been instrumental in his meteoric ascent, earning him an Olympic gold, all world cruiserweight titles, the Muhammad Ali Trophy in the World Boxing Super Series, and now, three out of the four major heavyweight belts.

Being part of a rare league of boxing champions alongside Evander Holyfield and David Haye, Usyk has been characterized by him achieving unified cruiserweight titles and later securing a heavyweight belt.

In a discussion with Steve Bunce from BT Sport Boxing, Usyk disclosed how he mimicked the style of ‘Prince’ Naseem Hamed. This emulation has played a significant role in Usyk’s rise to the top.

“As amateurs, we copied his moves. We faced disapproval in the gym since we were banned from doing so. They stated that it looked like we were losing our focus, our concentration, and that we seemed out of control. However, I continued to include these movements, even during competitions.”

A Boxing professional who sparred with both Usyk and Dubois predicts a knockout. Upon sharing this news, ‘Prince Nas’ laughed and questioned,

“Who’s going be able to copy them moves?”

Undoubtedly, Usyk is one of the most agile and difficult heavyweights ever to grace the boxing ring. His next challenge is defending his triple world titles for the second time against Daniel Dubois in Poland, another milestone in Usyk’s rise to the top.

In 2018, Usyk etched his name in history by becoming the undisputed cruiserweight champion, securing all four major titles in the World Boxing Super Series. In the final match, he confronted Murat Gassiev, who held the IBF and WBA titles. Usyk dominated the fight, clinching a unanimous victory. This triumph cemented Usyk’s rise to the top, making him the first cruiserweight in boxing history to hold all four major world championships—the WBO, WBC, WBA, and IBF titles.

His ultimate dream remains a head-to-head battle with Tyson Fury for undisputed supremacy, despite the ongoing tension between both teams. Meanwhile, Fury is gearing up for a fight with former MMA champion Francis Ngannou, as Usyk’s rise to the top continues.

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