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‘I’m a bit crazy’ – Oleksandr Usyk reveals he once fainted while holding his breath underwater during extreme challenge and had to be rescued by trainers who watched on from side of swimming pool

  • Sports

By Michael Benson

Oleksandr Usyk has revealed that he once had to be rescued from a swimming pool as he fainted during an extreme training challenge.

The current generation of Ukrainian boxers are renowned for their unique, modern methods.


Usyk is the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight world champion

Many of these were cultivated in their Olympic squad under the leadership of Vasyl Lomachenko’s father Anatoly Lomachenko.

Usyk and Lomachenko Jr both won gold at London 2012 together and have since conquered world titles in the pro game.

To do this, they have carried forward many of Lomachenko Sr’s methods which have since been the focus of several pre-fight training camp documentaries.

Prior to Usyk’s rematch with Anthony Joshua last month, his manager Egis Klimas revealed that he watched the champion swim 10km non-stop during his preparations – a challenge AJ has since taken on himself.

Klimas also said his man could hold his breath underwater for a staggering four minutes and 40 seconds.

Explaining why he does this, Usyk said in an interview on his USYK17 YouTube channel: “All these challenges such as 10km of swimming for example.

Klimas is Usyk’s manager

Mark Robinson/Matchroom

Klimas is Usyk’s manager

“You’re swimming and suddenly you feel such a pain in your knee and you think you can’t go, you just can’t continue.

“A muscle’s so tensed and the pain’s just unbearable.

“The pain is in your shoulder, you knee or even the tips of your moustache.

“And you’re thinking, ‘Okay, I’m done, it’s better to stop and try next time.’

“This means that you can’t stop – when you start to think like that it is the signal to continue.

Usyk’s endurance in the pool is astonishing

Oleksandr Usyk – Instagram

Usyk’s endurance in the pool is astonishing

“You can’t give up. If you give up now, that’s what you’ll do when you’re fighting.

“It’s a breaking point which you’ll definitely reach during your fight. Every athlete knows what it is.

“No-one can do anything ‘next time’, so you just don’t stop.

“You know I’m a bit crazy and so my coaches are carefully watching me. If I’m faint, they’ll rescue me.

“Once, holding my breath underwater, I fainted for a moment and immediately was taken from the pool.”

Source: Talksport.