The return fight between champ Oleksandr Usyk and former champ/challenger Anthony Joshua will be about way more than just boxing belts. At least it will be to Usyk, to his team, and to his people.
The return fight (still to be officially announced, and yes, plenty of fans are beginning to feel a little frustrated at the apparent lack of progress being made; but of course, what is going on behind the scenes we do not know) will see Usyk “fight for the entire democratic world.”
Usyk is, of course, fighting for the freedom of his people in Russia-invaded Ukraine, and he will be taking the fight with him into the boxing ring. Usyk’s manager, Alexander Krassyuk, explained when speaking with Rob Tebbut.
“He is not fighting for himself,” Krassyuk said. “He’s not fighting for glory or for fame. He’s not just fighting for his personal legacy. He’s fighting for the whole country. He’s fighting for the entire democratic world.”
In many ways, the world will have never before seen a fight fought under these circumstances, not for some time anyway. Usyk will be so ultra-determined to win to send a message of victory across to his people; he will be more motivated than at any other time in his career. Joshua really will have to up his game if he’s to get the revenge win he so badly craves (and his career needs).
It will be incredibly hard not to root for Usyk when the fight happens, what with the inspiration back story surrounding the fight and with Usyk’s motives for wanting – in fact also needing – to win. And a substantial portion of Usyk’s purse will go out to the Ukrainian people. No wonder Joshua faces the unfamiliar prospect of being the bad guy in this fight.
“The whole world is going to be sitting and watching this fight, and whatever messages he sends to the world will definitely be accepted,” Krassyuk stated.
The fight for freedom: Usyk-Joshua II. We await official confirmation of the bout and its date and venue.