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“Some of my friends have disappeared”


Oleksandr Usyk spoke openly about the horrors of war in Ukraine in his first interview since leaving the country amid the ongoing Russian invasion.

The unified WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight world champion was in England when Vladimir Putin ordered troops to be sent to his homeland and so quickly found a way to reunite with his family.

BlockAsset

Usyk returned to Ukraine after the invasion began

Usyk told Blockasset: “It was 5 a.m. when I received a message from my wife in which she informed me that the war had started.

“I understood that Ukraine would close its airspace to civilian flights.

“We flew to Poland. In Poland we were met at the airport by our friend – he drove us to the Polish-Ukrainian border.

“There we took another car that took us to another Ukrainian city and we were able to go straight to Kyiv from there.

“I was gutted, I didn’t understand what was going on, but when I got home and saw my family, my children and my wife, my loved ones, I felt a little better.”

“Some of my friends have disappeared”

LomUs – Instagram

Usyk joined the Kyiv Territorial Defense

After careful consideration, Usyk has now decided to leave the country to train for a rematch with Anthony Joshua – something he has been allowed to do as he has three young children.

“Fortunately, I haven’t seen much of the war,” Usyk continued, “but what I see and what I know of my family and friends is terrible.

“Some of my friends are missing and their current whereabouts are unknown.

“Many of my relatives have lost their homes, as well as their friends and loved ones.

“Frankly, everything that is happening now is pretty horrible in Ukraine.

“Every day I pray for the quickest possible end to this horror.

“Compared to war, boxing is child’s play.”

“Some of my friends have disappeared”

Oleksandr Usyk – Instagram

After speaking with the Klitschko, Usyk received support in his decision to leave Ukraine

Ukraine also has two former heavyweight champions in the Klitschko brothers.

Both have been at the forefront of the country’s media efforts amid the invasion, especially given Vitali’s role as Kyiv’s mayor.

Usyk revealed: “I had a conversation with them and they both supported me – Vitali and Wladimir – in my decision to start training for my next fight.

“Although it was not easy for me, but I made such a decision, so now I am here and I have already started the preparation for the rematch with Anthony Joshua…

“Now I want to focus as much as possible on my preparation.

“Because right now I can’t stop thinking about the war, about my friends in Ukraine.

“And I must get rid of such thoughts as much as possible so that I am well prepared for the Anthony Joshua fight and can glorify my God and my native land again.”

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