Oleksandr Usyk is unsure of defending his belt against Anthony Joshua in the rematch. The Ukraine boxer wants to defend his country amidst the war first.
The much-anticipated rematch between Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua might have to be put on hold with the current situation in Ukraine. The boxer from Ukraine says he will first defend his country in the war against Russia before he defends his belt inside the boxing ring.
Oleksandr Usyk fought Anthony Joshua in an exciting boxing match in September 2021. The Ukrainian boxer defeated Joshua to claim the IBF, WBA, WBO, and IBO world heavyweight belts.
The rematch clause has been activated and the two parties were reported to be in an exciting rematch for the summer. However, the geopolitical situation in Ukraine might cause the fight to be put on hold.
— Fanatics View (@fanaticsview) September 25, 2021
Given Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the boxer has decided to defend his country first by taking up arms. He was also joined by the legend Wladimir Klitschko in defense of their nation. In an exclusive interview with CNN Sports, Usyk spoke about the current situation of his country after the Russian invasion and when he might return to the ring.
“If they will want to take my lives 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 told CNN.
I really don’t know when I’m going to be stepping back in the ring. My country and my honor are more important to me than a championship belt,” said Usyk. Oleksandr will not have any pressure from his opponent’s party given the English boxer has already pledged his support for the boxer and his countrymen.
“I’ve learned sports and politics go hand in hand,” said Anthony in an interview with IFL TV. “They are powerful voices and it’s good they are speaking up. So good luck to them,” said Joshua on boxers Klitschko and Usyk being vocal about their country’s political situation.