Updates: 30.03.2022 18:18
Hradec Králové – Boxing champion Oleksandr Usyk has a completely different motivation for the match due to the war in Ukraine, in which he will defend the titles of professional world heavyweight champion in the summer. “Every preparation is different, but my motivation is now incomparable when I can support the mind of my nation,” the boxer told reporters in Hradec Králové today, where he came to cheer on his friendly Ukrainian football team Polissja Zhytomyr during his stay in the Czech Republic.
The 35-year-old Olympic champion from London, who is currently the heavyweight champion of the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO, left Ukraine as well as the footballers of the second-league Zhytomyr after Russia’s military invasion. Awaits him in retaliation with the British Anthony Joshua, who deprived him of championship titles last September in London. “I’m preparing for an opponent I know. But every preparation is different,” he said.
He spends his last days in the Czech Republic, where he also found an Orthodox church for prayer. He warms up every morning. “The families of my friends and my family are in the Czech Republic. The support and help of the Czechs to Ukraine is great,” he said. He came to Hradec Králové to support the Zhytomyr footballers and to encourage all Ukrainians who are suffering due to the war.
Due to the preparation for an important boxing match and the risk of injury, Usyk did not enter today’s preparatory match between the Zhytomyrs and the footballers of the wider FC Hradec Králové team. He made an honorable kick in front of the fans on the Cotton field. “He has been part of our team for a long time. He is very good when he plays,” said the coach of the second-league Ukrainian team, Yuri Kalitvincev.
In the coming days, Usyk will leave the Czech Republic for a preparatory camp, where he will be preparing for a duel with Joshua. “The location of the camp is not yet determined. It could be Saudi Arabia or Qatar,” he said.
Immediately after the Russian attack on Ukraine, Usyk joined the volunteer regiment in Kiev and announced that he was not dealing with his boxing career. But after three weeks, he received permission from the government to leave his homeland so that he could prepare for retaliation. “I feel the support of the entire Ukrainian nation,” he said.
He also allegedly gave to his older colleagues. “They told me: your front is a sport, you should train so that everyone in the world can hear about Ukraine. This way you can help the country,” he said.
He has no idea what his house looks like in Ukraine. “I know they invaded there (the Russians) broke the gate, but I don’t know what condition it’s in,” he said. According to them, no one would want to experience a war, for example, when children run into a cellar with every rustle.
The Olympia Hradec Králové football club organized help for the Zhytomyr footballers. Due to Russian aggression, the Ukrainians were stuck in a concentration camp in Turkey and could not return home. The Hradec Králové Club provided athletes and their team with accommodation and food, including the possibility of Ukrainian footballers working in Czech clubs.
Source: České noviny – sport by www.ceskenoviny.cz.
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