Oleksandr Usyk wasted no time returning to Ukraine to support the war effort against Russia after beating Anthony Joshua.
After Usyk defended his WBA, WBO and IBF titles against Joshua in their rematch in August, he returned to Ukraine nine days later and now his manager, Egis Klimas, has revealed he is back on the “front line” support troops as they battle against the Russian invasion.
“As we speak [Usyk] is in Ukraine on the front line,” Klimas told talkSPORT.
“Of course, not with a gun, but he boosts the morale of the soldiers. He is there and he supports 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 Defense Force in Kyiv.
But it wasn’t until he visited injured soldiers in the hospital that he actually considered going to fight Joshua.
“He was inspired by the soldiers when he went to the hospital and he visited them,” Klimas said. “Wounded soldiers of war.
“When he walked into the hall and saw over twenty soldiers, some had no legs, some had no arms and everyone was cheering.
Ruiz Jr hosts Fury fight in December, if Joshua showdown doesn’t happen
Date Chris Eubank Jr vs Conor Benn: start time, undercard and how to watch
An independent mediator has offered to resolve the final issue in the Fury vs Joshua negotiations
Tyson Fury leaves comment on Dillian Whyte’s Instagram post with new trainer
Fury has called 11 people including Joshua, Tyson and Thor since retiring from boxing
Bridges is a math teacher turned world champion boxer who wears lingerie to weigh herself
“The feeling to be there was amazing and everyone was shouting at him saying, ‘No we don’t need you here, go out there and fight, you’re a boxer, you’re a champion.
“As soon as he got out of the hospital he said, ‘That’s what I’m going to do’.”
As we now know, Usyk continued to box his way to victory over Joshua, winning by split decision.
This sets up a potential fight with Tyson Fury early next year for the four belts, which would see the first undisputed heavyweight champion crowned in the four belt era.