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Oleksandr Usyk pays tribute to Ukraine as he returns to his homeland after beating Anthony Joshua

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‘We missed you’: Oleksandr Usyk pays tribute to his nation because the victorious unified heavyweight champion returns to war-torn Ukraine for the primary time since leaving Kyiv’s territorial defence to coach for Anthony Joshua rematch

  • Oleksandr Usyk joined Ukraine’s territorial defence following Russia’s invasion
  • He was given permission to depart the country to fight Anthony Joshua again
  • Usyk spent several months away from Ukraine to arrange for his boxing return
  • He beat Joshua earlier this month to retain his heavyweight world titles 
  • He has now returned to Ukraine, and has paid tribute to the war-torn nation 

Oleksandr Usyk has returned to his homeland of Ukraine for the primary time since retaining his heavyweight titles against Anthony Joshua earlier this month.

Usyk faced Joshua in Saudi Arabia in a rematch of their fight last September, which he won via unanimous decision. This time around, Joshua put in a much-improved display, but Usyk was still in a position to emerge victorious after 12 rounds.  

With Russia continuing their invasion of Ukraine, Usyk had been away from his country for a lot of months to arrange for his return fight with Joshua. He has now touched down in Ukraine over again, and he paid tribute to his nation in a post on Instagram on Monday.

Oleksandr Usyk has returned to his homeland of Ukraine for the primary time in months

‘We missed you,’ he wrote, alongside an image of himself standing in front of an indication with the colors of the national flag and the word ‘Ukraine’ on it.

When Russia began their invasion back in February, Usyk quickly made himself available to serve his country, and he joined Ukraine’s territorial defence within the capital city of Kyiv.

It was initially unclear as to when he would have the opportunity to return to boxing, but he was given permission to depart Ukraine to tackle Joshua before they finally settled their rivalry.

Usyk has made it clear that he’s proud to represent Ukraine, especially during these difficult times for his nation. He dedicated his win against Joshua to his country when speaking after their rematch.

‘This fight was extremely vital for my country, my team and for me. I boxed for the entire country and half of the world,’ he said.

Usyk got the better of Anthony Joshua in their heavyweight rematch earlier this month

Usyk got the higher of Anthony Joshua of their heavyweight rematch earlier this month

Usyk is proud to represent Ukraine and draped himself in his nation's flag after beating Joshua

Usyk is proud to represent Ukraine and draped himself in his nation’s flag after beating Joshua

‘I kept telling myself “you can not stop, you can not stop, you can not stop”. Some big things were at stake. And thank God the belts are coming back to Ukraine, victory is for us and Ukraine won.  

‘Now the entire world knows Ukraine is defending itself from the second biggest army on this planet. And we stand strong and we give Russia loads back.’

‘I need to say that some people on this planet are underestimating what is happening in Ukraine – please open your eyes and see what is occurring. Ukrainians never quit, we all the time go to the top. We all the time win in the long run, we just need just a little more time.

Usyk now has his sights set on a showdown with Tyson Fury, which might crown an undisputed champion in boxing’s blue-riband division.

A gathering between the pair is being eyed for February, suggesting that Usyk should now get the chance to spend time back in Ukraine before specializing in preparing for his eagerly-anticipated clash with Fury. 

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