By Alex Beard (@alex_beard17)
Usyk put on show in Poland on Saturday night, as he captured the WBO cruiserweight belt with a unanimous decision victory over Krzysztof Glowacki.
The Ukrainian was in control throughout, displaying outstanding footwork while littering his performance with powerful combinations. Glowacki, to his credit, refused to go away, but the hometown hero was ultimately outclassed.
The three judges scored the fight 119-109, 117-111 and 117-111. Usyk improved to 10-0-KO9, with this his first fight to go the distance, while Glowacki fell to 26-1-KO16.
Usyk, a highly-decorated amateur who won gold at London 2012, showed his class with an electric display. Despite not fighting anyone near Glowacki’s quality in his short professional career, Usyk made the step up look effortless.
Glowacki, who won his title with a stunning stoppage of long-time champion Marco Huck last year, looked to back Usyk up early, peppering his opponent with body shots. Glowacki was clearly looking for the knockout blow as he consistently loaded up on his punches and was made to miss by Usyk.
The opening rounds were back and forth, and Glowacki’s best moments in the fight came early. He occasionally managed to keep his opponent static long enough to make contact with some good overhands, but Usyk was never in trouble.
From very early on it was clear that Glowacki would struggle to land the big shots that won him the title. Usyk was incredibly elusive, showing off footwork that you don’t often see in the heavier weight classes. The variety of Usyk’s punches was also impressive, keeping Glowacki constantly guessing.
By the mid-point of the fight Usyk was clearly in command. Although he could’ve used the jab more, when he did it landed flush, often catching Glowacki off-guard. Glowacki’s work was becoming increasingly crude, and Usyk was able to keep his man at range while landing some powerful body shots.
A strong flurry in the ninth looked menacing but Usyk merely smiled, flashing that distinctive gap between his teeth. By the eleventh round Usyk was tagging Glowacki hard and often. A heavy combination landed, clearly the most painful shots of the night.
In the final round Glowacki charged forward looking for the stoppage – and did have some success – but also left himself open for some spiteful punches from his opponent. An apparent knockdown was ruled a slip by the referee, and Usyk saw the fight out with minimal fuss.
This fight proved that Usyk is the real deal. He was clearly the superior technician and will likely be in almost all his fights. His shot selection was superb and his movement was outstanding. Glowacki showed great heart and durability, but the contest turned out to be a mismatch.
Usyk can now looked ahead to match-ups with the likes of Grigory Drozd, Denis Lebedev and Tony Bellew in an underrated cruiserweight division. One thing’s for sure after tonight’s showing, it’s going to take some fighter to stop him.by