Usyk in tears for late father after historic heavyweight win

Oleksandr Usyk after beating Tyson Fury to become undisputed heavyweight champion

Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk cries as he talks about his father during a news conference following his victory over Britain’s Tyson Fury in their undisputed heavyweight championship boxing fight at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, early Sunday, May 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

An emotional Oleksandr Usyk shed tears for his late father after crowning a brilliant career by becoming boxing’s first four-belt undisputed heavyweight world champion on Sunday.

The 37-year-old Ukrainian won a split decision against Britain’s Tyson Fury in Riyadh in the first heavyweight unification fight since 1999.

The former European and world amateur champion, Olympic gold medalist and undisputed cruiserweight champ — still undefeated as a professional — now adds the ultimate boxing crown.

READ: Usyk edges Tyson Fury to become undisputed heavyweight champion

Afterward Usyk, who needed four stitches to a cut above his right eye, and who was headed to hospital for a scan of his jaw, remembered his father, who died shortly after his Olympic victory in 2012.

“I miss my father,” he said, wiping his tears with his T-shirt. “I know he’s here.”

Usyk has missed children’s birthdays and even the birth of his daughter during his eight-month camp for the Fury fight, originally scheduled for February before the Briton suffered a cut in training.

READ: Tyson Fury unsure on rematch after Usyk inflicts his first loss

His promoter Alex Krassyuk believed that Usyk was denied a knock-out victory when the referee stepped in as Fury looked about to hit the deck in round nine.

“I believe the referee saved Tyson from a knock-out and stole the ninth-round knock-out, which should have happened,” Krassyuk said.

But Usyk said: “No knock-out, no problem.”

“I don’t think about it because we had a win.”

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