Oleksandr Usyk Boxing Return Sidelined “For My Country and My Honor”
Unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk (19-0, 13 KO’s) and former unified lightweight champion Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko (16-2, 11 KO’s) could be out of boxing, putting major fights in jeopardy. The current state of affairs taking place between Russia and Ukraine on the world stage has caused a ripple effect that has spilled over into boxing. When Russia attacked the Ukrainian borders, it hurt the chances of two big fights taking place.
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THINGS MORE IMPORTANT THAN BOXING
On September 2021, Usyk wrestled away the unified titles away from Anthony “AJ” Joshua (24-2, 22 KO’s) with a spectacular performance. The 35-year-old Ukrainian, a former undisputed cruiserweight champion, was sitting on top of the world. Moreover, he is supposed to be in training for the rematch since Joshua invoked the rematch clause.
Well, Usyk won’t be re-matching the former unified champion anytime soon. In fact, he may not be returning to boxing due to the situation that has taken place in his country. Obviously worried about his friends and family, he has returned home and enlisted in Ukraine’s military to help defend his homeland.
During an interview with CNN, the unified champion was uncertain about a time for returning to the ring, if at all.
“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.”
Oleksandr Usyk isn’t the only fighter that has cast aside a big fight to go and take up arms to defend the homeland. Hi-tech has also joined the Ukrainian military upon returning home.
After talks between WBC champion Devin Haney and Kambosos Jr exploded, Lomachenko became the frontrunner with a proposed fight for June. It is almost certain that fight may not happen due to the current situation.
The boxing community gives major respect to both men for putting aside personal aspirations for something much bigger.
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By: Garrisson Bland