Many Ukrainian boxers have left their sporting duties in the wake of the Russian invasion of their motherland with brothers Vitali Klitschko and Wladimir Klitschko, Vasiliy Lomachenko, and Oleksandr Usyk joining the Territorial Defense Forces, the reserve military force of the country.
Ukraine’s Tokyo 2020 Olympics representative and gold medal winner Zhan Beleniuk has also promised to prevent his area with pistols and grenades if needed. Former national football team head coach Andriy Shevchenko has opened his mansion in England for the Ukrainian war refugees. Other notable athletes have been making their contributions by donating and raising funds and supplies for the war-torn nation.
According to several reports in major boxing news outlets, Usyk is now ready to leave his country in order to prepare for the rematch against Anthony Joshua in the near future.
Usyk’s promoter has recently stated that all details are likely to be finalized within the next two weeks. Alexander Krassyuk further said that ‘Late June’ is being targeted for the fight, but the schedule completely depends on the paperwork, while the location is undecided as of now.
Since Russia’s attack on Ukraine, men aged between 18 years old and 60 years old have been asked to come forward and contribute to the country’s defense. But, Oleksandr Usyk has been allowed to leave the country as per an exception that states that it is not mandatory for any parent with three or more kids under the age of 18 to participate in the war.
The government has also allowed Lomachenko to leave the country for a boxing fight, https://sport.ua/ reported last week. But unlike Oleksandr Usyk, the 34-year old has not taken up the offer in order to aid his country’s defense against Russia.
On the other hand, Oleksandr Usyk has already started preparations for the big fight claiming that his friends are supporting him in his decision and thanked God for the same while praying for peace in an Instagram post.
The unified heavyweight champion won the gold medal at the 2012 Olympics and has won all 19 of his fights since turning professional in 2013. The 35-year old became the first cruiserweight champion to hold all four major world titles after defeating Anthony Joshua back in September 2021.
The last time Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk faced each other at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Usyk came out as the winner maintaining his undefeated record courtesy of a unified decision by the judges. Usyk also claimed that Joshua didn’t push him much, and the Ukrainian didn’t have to pull out anything special to defeat the Watford-born former unified heavyweight champion.
Oleksandr Usyk has been the centre of attention since the morning of 24th February as his wife has the citizenship of the aggressor country and the boxer even asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to call off the war on 26th February. Previously, Usyk has denied taking Russian citizenship after the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation back in 2014.
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