Oleksandr Usyk’s decision to fight in Ukraine has been the subject of multiple reports, many providing conflicting accounts of his time battling against Russia. However, his manager has denounced the allegations from the media.
Usyk stripped Anthony Joshua of the WBA, IBF, and WBO heavyweight world titles last year and according to his contractual terms would be up for a rematch against the former champion. The world champion has chosen to join a territorial defense battalion in Ukraine as the country defends itself from the Russian invasion.
Boxing Champions Past and Present Unite against Russia
Oleksandr Usyk has been vocal in his support of his country of Ukraine, announcing that he will stay behind and fight against the Russians on the ground. This comes as he is expected to defend his heavyweight titles for the first time in a rematch against Anthony Joshua, who he defeated late last year.
“If they will want to take my life or the lives of my close ones, I will have to do it, But I don’t want that. I don’t want to shoot, I don’t want to kill anybody, but if they will be killing me, I will have no choice.”- Usyk revealed in an interview with CNN.
Usyk was joined by his fellow countryman Vasyly Lamochenko in defending his homeland of Ukraine. Lamochenko, who has been world champion in three different divisions, was pictured in a military uniform and enlisted in the territorial army to help fight off invading Russian troops.
Former heavyweight champions Wladimir and Vitaly Klitschko have long been regarded as the best boxers of the 2000s, defending their various belts many times over against all-time greats in boxing. The latter Klitschko is the mayor of the capital city of Kyiv, Ukraine, and both of the brothers have refused evacuation from the UN in order to stay and fight with their citizens, a move that many acknowledge as heroic.
Usyk’s Manager Denies Reports
Despite the confirmed presence in their country, articles have circulated stating Usyk has secured clearance to leave his homeland to prepare for his proposed rematch against Anthony Joshua. His manager did not meet the report lightly, as he ridiculed the media and attacked the false report in a crass manner.
“You motherf*****r! You need to stop posting fake news about my fighters. I am telling you, stay AWAY from all of my fighters,” warned Klimas.
“Let me tell you something smart a**. First of all, Usyk does not need special permission to leave the country as he is the father of three children. It’s Ukrainian law. Before you post anything, check first, ” Kilmas continued.
Usyk is not alone in refusing a chance to leave his homeland to secure his fight. His childhood friend had been offered the chance by government officials to leave the country to train for the fight, but it emerged that Lomachenko has turned down this opportunity and with it the chance to regain the belts against Kambosos Jr.
While Lomachenko has shown his interest in going back on the opportunity to fight for the title in the future, Usyk remained silent about his fight and uncertainty remains concerning the proposed fight. He seems to be set on defending his country, and the boxing world roots him on and wishes a safe passage.
Featured Image Credits to Embed from Getty Images