“My Country Is at War”: Oleksandr Usyk Promises Countrymen a Fight in Ukraine Once Russia Conflict Ends

Published 11/14/2023, 7:42 PM EST

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To Oleksandr Usyk, Ukraine comes first. Defending the honor of his country comes first. Last year, after he became the unified heavyweight champion, Usyk joined his fellow countrymen and enlisted in the army. By August 2022, he was back in the ring to defend his titles from Anthony Joshua. Gradually, as another year passes, the heavyweight champion has positioned himself for a grand confrontation with rival Tyson Fury. The winner will become the first undisputed champion after Lennox Lewis.

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But amidst all these developments, he hasn’t forgotten his beloved Ukraine. Usyk is confident of his nation’s eventual victory. So in a recent interview, he mentioned what he wants to do when the conflict is over. He shared plans to organize a big fight at the stadium in the capital, Kiev so that a huge number of Ukrainians could attend and watch his bout. Later, he expressed his gratitude to the frontline troops and mentioned speaking with them.

Oleksandr Usyk expresses gratitude

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Speaking to TNT Sports, a dapper Usyk shared that it was a very tragic situation. Ukraine is currently at war; hence, he cannot proceed at this time. But to celebrate their victory, he will undoubtedly stage a fight so that he can see all his supporters and fellow countrymen happy. He said, “It’s sad. We cannot do it now because my country is at war. However, after our (Ukrainian) victory, I will surely organize a fight at the Olimpiskyi Stadium in Kiev in order to cheer up my dear fans and every Ukrainian who will attend.

Then, sharing how he owes a great debt of gratitude to the men and women who are defending his country, he said, “Personally, for me, the guys who defend our country are a big motivation, and I’am grateful to them.” Recalling that whenever he speaks with them, the troops would be shouting, “Yes, victory.” However, it is a win for them as well. It is just what happens when he defeats an opponent in the ring. The win does not only belong to him but deservedly belongs to the people of the nation as well.

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He said, “When I call them, I see their faces, I see their smile, [and] they scream, “Yes, victory!’ It is partly their victory too. You know that when I’am boxing and I win, my country wins, as do] all the people who cheer for me.

Last year, after the war started, along with Vasyl Lomachenko and MMA champion Yaroslav Amosov, Oleksandr Usyk joined Ukraine’s territorial forces. However, he soon left roughly a month later to prepare himself for a much-vaunted rematch with Anthony Joshua in August.

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A bountiful season

Otherwise, the world champion defended his title a good second time this year. Despite the controversy it attracted, Oleksandr Usyk defeated Daniel Dubois when they met on August 26. Thankfully, this time, all the stars were aligned. The much-needed fight with Tyson Fury finally seems to have made it to the finish line. The bitter rivals, who could have met early this year, will hopefully face each other by the first quarter of 2024. Clearly, the much-loved champion had his hands full at the time.

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Do you think Usyk should fight Deontay Wilder after the Tyson Fury fight? Please share your views with us in the comments below.

Watch This Story: 5 times Oleksandr Usyk Obliterated His Opponents Inside The Boxing ring

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Written by:

Jaideep R Unnithan

1,395Articles

One take at a time

Jaideep Unnithan is a writer for boxing at Essentially Sports. Having written over 900 articles, he has been an astute chronicler of recent developments happening inside and outside of the squared circle. Having a keen eye on the punches traded inside the squared circle, he has written opinion pieces on the fighting styles of Floyd Mayweather Jr, David Benavidez, and Terence Crawford.
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Edited by:

Arijit Saha

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