By Jordan Ellis
WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk is hoping he’ll get the chance to play Ukrainian Premier League football in the near future.
The pound-for-pound boxing superstar who has beaten Anthony Joshua in successive fights to cement himself as the unified heavyweight king is also a talented footballer.
Usyk made his professional football debut for FC Polissya Zhytomyr in a 2-1 win over NK Veres Rivne back in February while he was preparing for a rematch with AJ.
The 35-year-old began the game on the bench but was clearly the centre of attention as broadcast cameras often panned to him during the first half.
In the 76th minute, his moment came, and he shadowboxed on the touchline to warm up before entering the fray as a striker wearing number 17.
Usyk enjoyed a decent cameo during his first appearance for FC Polissya and is hoping that he’ll get the call to play for them again when they enter the Ukrainian Premier League.
“Polissya will soon enter the next league, the higher level. This club gave me an opportunity to play [in a friendly] so I want to continue helping them,” Usyk said on his YouTube channel.
Right now, they are playing second-division football but are well placed for promotion after picking up 10 points from their first four games in the Persha Liha.
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“These 30 years during which I was working finally made it possible for me to play. I’m not acting as if victory is already in the bag, I fully understand the responsibility and the amount of work which is to be done,” Usyk added.
“You know why playing football is easier than boxing for me? Because nobody punches you in the head on purpose.”
After retaining his heavyweight titles last month, Usyk revealed he will be sitting out for the rest of 2022 as he is injured and wishes to spend some time with his family.
This has prompted Tyson Fury to begin negotiating with Joshua about a highly anticipated all-British affair which is being targeted for December 3 at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.
Hall of Fame boxing promoter Frank Warren who works with Fury insists his client remains interested in an undisputed clash with Usyk and recently told talkSPORT that the two heavyweight champions will clash in March 2023.