Oleksandr Usyk has no time for boxing right now, the three-belt heavyweight ruler has a far more serious, far more potentially life-changing conflict to deal with. As fans have read, Usyk, along with the Klitschko brothers, Wladimir and Vitali, and Vasiliy Lomachenko, is currently on the streets in Russia-invaded Ukraine, literally putting his life on the line in the name of the struggle.
And Usyk, who spoke with CNN from a basement somewhere in his homeland, said he is willing to kill if he has to do so. The tensions in Ukraine continue to rise and Usyk says his honor “belongs to his country” and that he has “no fear.”
“If they will want to take my life, or the lives of my close ones, I will have to do it,” Usyk said regarding the possibility of him having to kill another human being during the ongoing struggle. “But I don’t want that. I don’t want to shoot, I don’t want to kill anybody, but if they will be killing me, I will have no choice. Maybe it’ll sound sentimental, but my soul belongs to the Lord and my body and my honor belong to my country, to my family. So there is no fear, absolutely no fear. There’s just bafflement – how could this be in the 21st century?”
Powerful words indeed. Usyk, along with Lomachenko and the Klitschkos, is showing immense courage and bravery. Usyk actually flew back home to Ukraine soon after the Putin invasion had begun; when he could so easily have stayed away. That, people, is courage, and patriotism, at its highest level. Forget the boxing schedule for now; Usyk has far more important matters to dedicate his energies to.
And in this fight, WE ALL are rooting for and are fully supporting Usyk. Let’s all hope this ongoing struggle comes to an end as soon as is humanly possible. And let’s hope Usyk is neither fired upon nor has to open fire himself. Let’s all hope it doesn’t reach that point.
However, Usyk has seen the bombing atrocities inflicted on his country. “The bombing around is crazy,” Usyk said. “They just bombed the city of Mariupol, one of my friends got a rocket in his roof. [The Russians] are not playing games.”
All we can do is hope sanity prevails.