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Oleksandr Usyk back on the ‘frontlines’ in Ukraine supporting troops, as his manager reveals he was inspired to fight Anthony Joshua after visiting injured soldiers in hospital

  • Sports

By Cameron Temple

Oleksandr Usyk has wasted no time in getting back to Ukraine to support in the war effort against Russia after his victory over Anthony Joshua.

After Usyk defended his WBA, WBO and IBF heavwyeight titles against Joshua in their rematch in August, he returned to Ukraine just nine days later.

Oleksandr Usyk – Instagram

Usyk posted a picture outside his house, having raised the Ukrainian flag, after returning home

Now his manager, Egis Klimas, has revealed that he is back on the ‘frontlines’ supporting troops, as they battle against the Russian invasion.

“At the moment as we speak [Usyk] is in Ukraine on the frontlines,” Klimas told talkSPORT.

“Of course, not with a gun, but he is cheering up the soldiers. He is there and he is supporting his country, but otherwise he is good and healthy.”

Prior to his rematch with Joshua, Usyk was in Ukraine and he joined the local territorial defence force in Kyiv.

But, it was not until he visited wounded soldiers in hospital that he actually considered leaving to fight Joshua.

“He was inspired by the soldiers when he went to hospital and he visited them,” Klimas said. “Soldiers who were wounded from the war.

“When he stepped into the ward and he saw more than twenty soldiers, some of them didn’t have legs, some of them didn’t have arms and everybody was cheering.

Usyk was pictured with a gun as he returned to aid Ukraine’s defence, prior to his rematch with Joshua

LomUs – Instagram

Usyk was pictured with a gun as he returned to aid Ukraine’s defence, prior to his rematch with Joshua

“The feeling to be there was unbelievable and every single one was crying to him saying, ‘no we don’t need you here, go there and fight, you are a boxer, you are champion.’

“As soon as he stepped out of the hospital he said, ‘this is what I’m going to do’.”

As we now know, Usyk went on to masterfully box his way to victory over Joshua, winning by split decision.

This sets up a potential fight with Tyson Fury early next year for all four belts, which would see the first undisputed heavyweight champion crowned in the four-belt era.

Source: Talksport.