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Usyk leaves Ukraine to prepare for Joshua rematch – reports

The heavyweight champion had been helping Ukraine’s defense forcesUsyk leaves Ukraine to prepare for Joshua rematch – reports

Usyk leaves Ukraine to prepare for Joshua rematch – reports

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World heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk and former pound-for-pound great Vasyl Lomachenko have both been given the chance to leave Ukraine and continue their boxing careers, which Usyk has already taken, according to reports.

The pair have been helping Ukraine’s defense forces amid Russia’s military operation in their homeland, where men aged 18 to 60 are currently prohibited from leaving.  

But Top Rank chief and Lomachenko promoter Bob Arum told Fanatics View that Usyk and Lomachenko have been given the green light by the Cultural Minister in Ukraine to head overseas and take part in a UK rematch with Anthony Joshua and a lightweight title bout against George Kambosos in Australia respectively.

“The Ukrainian government, which is tremendous, are co-operating with us as far as Lomachenko and also Usyk,” Arum said.

“They realize there’s tremendous publicity value in having them come out, train and participate in title fights,” Arum added, saying that hopefully the military operation in Ukraine will be over by then as if not the fighters will “go back into defense mode”.

“So I don’t know where that stands with either guy, whether they’re going to accept the offer of the Cultural Minister of Ukraine to leave and to train for fights,” Arum concluded.

ESPN cited sources as saying that Usyk will cross the border to Poland and begin training for a second meeting with Joshua this summer after relieving the Brit of his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO straps at Tottenham Hotspur’s stadium last September. 

On Wednesday, the BBC claimed that Usyk, who was born in Crimea, had already left for Poland and understands the Olympic gold medalist will hold his training camp elsewhere.

ESPN added that Usyk didn’t need permission in order to leave Ukraine, as there is an exception to the martial law that prevents Ukrainian men from 18 to 60 fleeing the country if they have three or more children under the age of 18.

While Usyk has three children, Lomachenko has two but has reportedly decided to stay in Ukraine and therefore turn down the chance to win back the lightweight belts he lost to Teofimo Lopez in 2020.

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In Lopez’s first defense of the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and The Ring crowns, he was upset by Kambosos who will now reportedly face WBC champion Devin Haney Down Under as each man vies to become the division’s first undisputed champion since Pernell Whitaker in 1990 on June 5. 

“I spoke to Egis Klimas [Lomachenko’s manager] and he confirmed that Loma would not be available to fight George,” Kambosos’ promoter Lou DiBella revealed to Boxing Scene.

“When the Ukrainian government gave their consent, we didn’t get an affirmative answer from Loma and we had a feeling there would be no fight.

“Egis confirmed to us today that he will stay in Ukraine, and that is commendable.”

Fears that Usyk would not be able to honor the rematch clause in his original agreement with Joshua circled when Usyk said that he “really didn’t know” when he would be stepping back into the ring to CNN earlier in March.

“My country and my honor are more important to me than a championship belt,” Usyk stated, though he now seems to have reversed that stance.

Other boxing figures aiding Ukraine’s defense forces are former heavyweight champion boxing brothers Vitali Klitschko – who is the mayor of Kiev – and sibling Wladimir.


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