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It was an uncontested fight in every sense of the word and Oleksandr Usyk will go down as a great heavyweight after beating Tyson Fury in front of a crowd of stars.

Oleksandr Usyk made history by defeating Tyson Fury to crown himself the undisputed heavyweight king on Saturday night in Riyadh.

It was a truly breathtaking opportunity to witness from a ringside seat, as talkSPORT.com was privileged to do, seeing every punch up close, from the first bell to the last.

Usyk is the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world

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Usyk is the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world

Electric anticipation built for the main event throughout the night.

The Kingdom Arena, built in a matter of months for Fury’s fight against Francis Ngannou last October, quickly filled up as the undercard progressed.

This modern and unique venue, which also hosts football as the new home of Al Hilal, can accommodate 23,000 people with three conventional stands opposed to one stand made up mainly of 20 luxury boxes.

As the main event approached, stars from boxing and beyond arrived at ringside.

Kingdom Arena is unlike any other boxing venue

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Kingdom Arena is unlike any other boxing venue
Seats were reserved for special guests such as Anthony Joshua and Cristiano Ronaldo

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Seats were reserved for special guests such as Anthony Joshua and Cristiano Ronaldo
AJ and CR7 chatted at ringside

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AJ and CR7 chatted at ringsideCredit: Getty

Football icons Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar were among the main attractions, both of whom now ply their trade in the Saudi Pro League.

Ronaldo arrived and sat next to Anthony Joshua, who was at ringside hoping to fight the winner in 2025.

Other famous footballers such as Steven Gerrard and Andriy Shevchenko were also in attendance, supporting Fury and Usyk respectively.

Hollywood stars Liev Schreiber and Jean-Claude Van Damme were also at ringside, alongside many boxing legends.

Ryan Garcia also took advantage of his chance to meet Ronaldo

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Ryan Garcia also took advantage of his chance to meet RonaldoCredit: Ryan Garcia-Twitter
One of the world heavyweight titles waiting at ringside

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One of the world heavyweight titles waiting at ringside
Old enemies (now friends) David Haye and Derek Chisora ​​reunited at ringside

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Old enemies (now friends) David Haye and Derek Chisora ​​reunited at ringside

Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield, Larry Holmes, Wladimir Klitschko, Antonio Tarver, Roberto Duran and Marco Antonio Barrera all witnessed the event up close.

Amir Khan and Kell Brook were also in attendance and old enemies David Haye and Derek Chisora ​​reunited.

Before the main event itself, veterans stood in awe as Anthony Cacace defied the odds to stop Joe Cordina and become IBF super featherweight world champion on the undercard.

The surprise result sparked a strong reaction from the crowd, and Cacace’s fellow Northern Irishman Carl Frampton celebrated his countryman by following in his footsteps as champion from the commentary booth.

Cacace had a big party arresting Cordina

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Cacace had a big party arresting CordinaCredit: Getty
Lewis and Holyfield were together at ringside, 25 years after their own undisputed fight

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Lewis and Holyfield were together at ringside, 25 years after their own undisputed fight

Fury and Usyk’s regular appearances on the big screens were the only other thing to generate as big a roar from the crowd as Cacace’s triumph.

In the co-main event, current top cruiserweight Jai Opetaia regained his IBF world title by dominating Mairis Briedis, prompting ex-champ Haye to turn away from his commentary position and admit to journalists: “It would have been a difficult evening!” ‘

When everyone took their seats before the main event, the huge screens above the ring lowered to reveal a stage in which a brief rap concert was performed.

The atmosphere was red-hot before Usyk’s icy walk and Fury’s burst into action, as the two men finally entered the squared circle with each other.

There was a brief performance before the main event

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There was a brief performance before the main event
When the ring cleared, only Fury, Usyk and the referee remained

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When the ring cleared, only Fury, Usyk and the referee remained

Michael Buffer uttered his famous words: “Let’s get ready to rumble”, and then it was just Fury, Usyk and referee Mark Nelson between them.

As the fight unfolded, fans of both fighters chanted their names and loudly celebrated each free kick received.

Midway through, as Fury appeared to be taking control of the fight, he looked over the ropes and stuck his tongue out at ringside reporters, showboating throughout the fight.

However, in the ninth round, the arena went wild as Usyk slammed him from pillar to post and knocked him down, with thousands jumping out of their seats simultaneously.

Fury and Usyk showed respect in the ring after the final bell

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Fury and Usyk showed respect in the ring after the final bell

Fury survived and fought valiantly, but was ultimately outclassed.

When the final bell rang, Usyk celebrated victory and was crowned the undisputed WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion of the world by split decision.

A rematch is already planned for October, but spectators will certainly not be quick to forget the historic first battle between these two warriors which took place on May 18, 2024.

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