Oleksandr Usyk vs. Anthony Joshua In Doubt As Heavyweight Champ Defends Ukraine

Anthony Joshua Usyk

Oleksandr Usyk vs. Anthony Joshua 2 may not happen as scheduled.

Currently, the heavyweight title fight was set for sometime this year after Usyk defeated Joshua in September to win the WBA, IBF and WBO belts. After the fight, Joshua confirmed he had triggered the immediate rematch clause but as Russia invades Ukraine, Usyk says he will help defend his country. He says his country comes first and isn’t thinking about boxing anytime soon.

“I really don’t know when I’m going to be stepping back in the ring,” Usyk said to CNN (via talkSport). “My country and my pride are more important to me than a championship belt.”

When asked if he would be fine going on the frontline and possibly killing someone in war, Usyk says it’s all about defending his country.

“If somebody is going to take my life away or my people who are close to me, I will have no choice,” Usyk said. “I don’t want to kill anybody, I don’t want to shoot anybody, but if it’s going to be my life on the line, I will do it. I don’t feel any fear anymore. It might sound a bit poetic, but my soul belongs to God and my body to my country.

“[Boxing] has helped me to be calm and mentally prepared… and to help others who are panicking and nervous… The bombing around is crazy,” Usyk continued. “They just bombed the city of Mariupol, one of my friends got a rocket in his roof. [The Russians] are not playing games. Russian people don’t really know exactly what’s going on here. They’re not seeing what’s going on. They are victims of their President.”

With Oleksandr Usyk defending his country, it’s uncertain when his title fight against Anthony Joshua will happen. But, as Usyk says and other boxers from Ukraine, this is bigger than the sport and their country needs to come first.

What do you make of Usyk-Joshua 2 possibly being delayed?