Sports

Oleksandr Usyk joins Vitali Klitschko, Wladimir Klitschko and Vasyl Lomachenko by signing up to fight for Ukraine and defend the country from Vladimir Putin’s invasion by Russia


Oleksandr Usyk has become the latest Ukrainian boxer to sign up to fight for his country as Russia continue its invasion.

The WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight world champion has joined the Kyiv Territorial Defense and posed for pictures, holding an assault rival as he prepares to defend Ukraine from Vladimir Putin’s troops.

Usyk has joined the Kyiv Territorial Defense

LomUs – Instagram

Usyk has joined the Kyiv Territorial Defense

Russia began their invasion of Ukraine last week, prompting the four most famous fighters from the country to declare their willingness to take up arms.

First, prior to the invasion, former heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko enlisted in the country’s reserve army.

Then, once the invasion began, his brother and former champion Vitali Klitschko (now Mayor of Kyiv) confirmed he will join the fight.

On Sunday, Usyk’s close friend Vasyl Lomachenko joined the Belgorod-Dnestrovsky Territorial Defense and now Usyk has done the same in Kyiv.

Usyk is due to rematch Anthony Joshua in May or June, with the Brit having now activated his contractual clause to force a second fight between them.

However, it is currently unclear how the current situation will impact these plans, though promoter Eddie Hearn stating that he is unaware of any change at present.

“No-one’s spoken to me from team Usyk to say ‘there could be a problem’. There’s bigger things on their plate right now I guess, quite frankly,” he said.

“We respect that, it’s an emotional time for those guys and that country. We’re preparing still for May or early June and I expect to finalise a date with Alex Krassyuk as planned over the next one or two weeks.”

Lomachenko has joined the Belgorod-Dnestrovsky Territorial Defense

LomUs – Instagram

Lomachenko has joined the Belgorod-Dnestrovsky Territorial Defense

Over the weekend, Usyk posted a video on social media pleading with Putin to ‘stop this war’.

He said: “I’d like to speak to the people of Russia. If we consider ourselves as brothers, orthodox ones. Do not let your children to set out to our country, do not fight with us.

“Also I’m addressing this to the President Vladimir Putin. You can stop this war. Please just sit down and negotiate it with us without claims.

“Our kids, wives, grannies are hiding in the basements… We are here in our own country, we cannot do it other way – we are defending… Stop it! Stop this war.”

Vitali Klitschko taking part in military drills back in 2021

Vitali Klitschko taking part in military drills back in 2021

The Klitschkos launched a joint video appeal, speaking in Ukrainian, Russian and English.

In the English version, Wladimir said: “I’m calling to all international partners to observe this tragedy that is happening nowadays in Ukraine.

“And this senseless war that is not going to have any winners, but losers.

“I just want to tell you we must stay united against this aggression, against Russian aggression.

“Don’t let it continue happening in Ukraine, don’t let it happen in Europe and eventually in the world.

“United we are strong, support Ukraine, thank you.”





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