Oleksandr Usyk dumps boxing to fight for Ukraine
Oleksandr Usyk has signed up to fight for his country, Ukraine against Russia, saying he does not know when he will box again.
Anthony Joshua has activated his contractual clause to force a rematch.
But, this does not seem feasible after Usyk enlisted in Kyiv’s Territorial Defense amid the ongoing military engagement with Vladimir Putin’s troops.
Speaking via a video link from a basement in Kyiv, Usyk told CNN, “I really don’t know when I’m going to be stepping back in the ring.
“My country and my pride are more important to me than a championship belt.”
Asked if he is prepared to take a life, Usyk said: “If somebody is going to take my life away or my people who are close to me, I will have no choice.
“I don’t want to kill anybody, I don’t want to shoot anybody, but if it’s going to be my life on the line, I will do it.”
The heavyweight champion continued: “I don’t feel any fear anymore. It might sound a bit poetic, but my soul belongs to God and my body to my country.
“(Boxing) has helped me to be calm and mentally prepared… and to help others who are panicking and nervous…
“The bombing around is crazy.
“They just bombed the city of Mariupol, one of my friends got a rocket in his roof.
“[The Russians] are not playing games.
“Russian people don’t really know exactly what’s going on here. They’re not seeing what’s going on.
“They are victims of their President.”
The former undisputed cruiserweight world champion is now WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight king, having dethroned Anthony Joshua in September.
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