The defeat ended hopes of a Joshua-Tyson Fury fight that would have unified all four heavyweight titles next spring and makes fans wonder where the division is going after Fury fights Deontay Wilder next month.
I wrote in my preview of the fight that I almost picked Usyk and had he looked a bit more impressive in his two heavyweight wins, I would have done so.
I thought that should Usyk defeat Joshua, he would do so in similar ways as Michael Spinks had surprised the larger Larry Holmes- keep the larger man off balance with lunges on the inside, getting out before he can be hit and when he is on the outside, stay far enough outside that he isn't hit there.
Usyk did all of these well and smoothly but the bigger surprise was that Usyk was the more powerful puncher of the two as he stunned Joshua several times during the bout and badly hurt Joshua with under a minute to go in the final round, driving a dazed Joshua into the ropes and if there would have been another minute to go in the fight. I think Usyk might have put Joshua away.
Usyk swept the final five rounds of the fight on my card to win 117-111 (9-3) and two of the official cards were close to mine at 117-112 and 116-112 with the other card for Usyk at 115-113 which I thought was a little closer than it was, but there were three close rounds on my card (I gave two of three to Usyk) so that isn't a crazy scorecard.
Joshua is expected to activate his rematch clause for next spring, the WBC is expected to mandate that next month's Dillian Whyte-Otto Wallin winner will immediately face the Fury-Wilder winner so a unified championship isn't happening before next fall and the real fly in the ointment to all of this could happen if Wilder would defeat Fury as I doubt Al Haymon puts Wilder in with Usyk at all.
Remember for all the vast power that Deontay Wilder possesses, he isn't a large heavyweight and he's closer in size to Usyk than he is Fury, so with Usyk's boxing ability I don't see a path for a Usyk-Wilder fight should Wilder win.
Give credit to a history-making effort by Oleksandr Usyk and credit to Anthony Joshua who could have folded his tent in the late rounds when he suffered an eye socket injury and caused his eye to swell almost shut and instead fought through to finish the fight.
On the undercard, Lawrence Okolie retained his WBO cruiserweight title with a third-round knockout of unknown Dilan Prasovic.
Okolie scored a late knockdown in the second round and quickly finished off Prasovic with a body shot early in the third.
I'd like to Okolie against IBF champion Mairis Bredis next to establish the winner as the best cruiserweight in the world.
Callum Smith crushed Lenin Castillo with one right hand that scared anyone that saw it as Castillo twitched badly while on the canvas.
Castillo was reported fine after a hospital trip and the win by Smith was very impressive as Castillo had never been stopped before and had lasted the full twelve rounds against WBA champion Dmitry Bivol.
For Smith, it could see Bivol in his future as Bivol's championship is the only one of the four not controlled by Top Rank and Bivol has worked with Smith's promoter Matchroom in the past.
In Madrid. the comeback of former middleweight champion Sergio Martinez continued with a unanimous decision over veteran Briton Brian Rose.
I scored Martinez a 97-93 winner and Martinez survived a rough second round where Rose had Martinez in a good deal of trouble.
I'm not really sure if I'm ready to state that Martinez is ready for a title shot, but even at 46 he's still capable of competing against anyone other than the elite and just under the elite of the division.
In the boxing challenge, I outscored Ramon Malpica five to four with the difference being a bonus point scored by me for calling the round of the Lawrence Okolie knockout win.
I lead the challenge 130-114.