Oleksandr Usyk explains why he won’t use the war in Ukraine to inspire him against Anthony Joshua


Usyk wore a Colors of Freedom shirt with the colors of Ukraine on Tuesday (Image: Getty)

Oleksandr Usyk rejected the proposal of ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia will give him extra motivation against Anthony Joshua this summer.

Last September, Usyk traveled to London and became the IBF, WBA and WBO Heavyweight Champion after dethroning Anthony Joshua with a masterful display.

However, six months later, after the invasion of his homeland in late February, he returned to Ukraine and joined the Kyiv Territorial Defense Forces.

The 35-year-old was pictured in military gear with an assault rifle during his time back home. However, in late March he was given permission to go to prepare for his rematch against Joshua, insisting: “I’m going to help my country more and it’s better than being in territorial defense and going through Kyiv with a machine gun run.”

Usyk and Joshua will fight again on August 20 in Saudi Arabia and will face each other during a press conference in Jeddah on Tuesday.


Usyk in military gear just four months ago.

And the champion insists he can’t find any motivation from what’s happening at home as he heads out for his first heavyweight title defense.

“My friends and people close to me died in the war. When so many people are suffering, I have no idea how it can affect anything positively,” Usyk said.

“I was there for a month and I saw with my own eyes what happened there … the rockets flying and the fighter planes flying. It’s terrible.’

Joshua, meanwhile, is seeking revenge on Saudi soil for the second time in his career after beating Andy Ruiz Jr in Riyadh in December 2019 after suffering his first loss to the American six months earlier.

“The great thing is I have a second chance,” Joshua said.

“What got me into boxing in the first place – when I was a youngster I got into a little trouble every now and then and I was blessed with a second chance and I found boxing. And I took it with both hands. If you know me and much of my history, you know I’m the comeback king.

“You can drop me off. But it’s difficult to keep me down.’

MORE: Anthony Joshua shares intense look with Oleksandr Usyk and reveals fighting Tyson Fury is perfect motivation

MORE : Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk rematch confirmed for August 20 in Saudi Arabia

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boxing Oleksandr Usyk explains why he won't use the war in Ukraine to inspire him against Anthony Joshua

Nate Jones

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