1. MURAT GASSIEV (UD 12)
In the WBSS final, Usyk put in a masterful performance against the undefeated Gassiev in the Russian’s home nation. The Ukrainian’s victory saw him become the undisputed cruiserweight king.
2. TONY BELLEW (RSF 8)
In defence of his undisputed crown, Usyk travelled to the UK to take on an in-form Bellew. The contest was a close one until the southpaw marvel produced a stunning stoppage to end matters in style.
3. MAIRIS BRIEDIS (MD 12)
Usyk unified his WBO title with Briedis’ WBC belt by conquering the Latvian on his own turf. Prior to this bout, Briedis had never tasted defeat, but Usyk spoiled his spotless résumé in an enthralling encounter.
4. KRZYSZTOF GLOWACKI (UD 12)
Up against Glowacki in the Pole’s native land, Usyk secured his first world championship – the WBO strap – by coming out on top over the distance. It was the first loss that Glowacki had experienced.
5. MICHAEL HUNTER (UD 12)
Another fighter had his perfect record snapped in his own country when Usyk got the better of Hunter in America to retain his WBO title. Hunter has since gone on to establish himself as a contender up at heavyweight.
6. MARCO HUCK (RSF 10)
Boxing in Huck’s backyard in Germany, Usyk kept hold of his WBO belt by overwhelming the former long-reigning champion. Huck was past his peak at the time, but it was an impressive win nonetheless.
7. THABISO MCHUNU (KO 9)
A significant player in the cruiser ranks, Mchunu was Usyk’s opponent in what was the 2012 Olympic gold medallist’s opening world title defence. The Kiev maestro held on to his WBO crown with an emphatic triumph.
8. CHAZZ WITHERSPOON (RTD 7)
On his official heavyweight debut, Usyk – weighing in at 215 pounds – systematically broke down veteran American Witherspoon in the US to send out a warning to the big guns in the sport’s glamour division.
9. JOHNNY MULLER (RSF 3)
In only his eighth outing, Usyk made short work of the rugged Muller, who was coming off successes over notable names in Kevin Lerena and Mateusz Masternak. It was a ranking-boosting victory.
10. DANIE VENTER (RSF 9)
Just over a year after turning professional, Usyk was given a useful test by 2000 Olympian Venter. The seasoned slugger made it to the penultimate round before being forced out by Usyk’s spiteful skills.