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Anthony Joshua's World Heavyweight Title Rematch With Oleksandr Usyk Is In Doubt

Ryan Sidle

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Anthony Joshua's World Heavyweight Title Rematch With Oleksandr Usyk Is In Doubt

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/PA

Anthony Joshua's heavyweight world title rematch with Oleksandr Usyk has been thrown into doubt, after Ukrainian joined his country's defence against the Russian invasion.

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Ukraine's boxers have stepped up in solidarity with their countrymen, since Russia declared war on the country last week, and have signed up to help.

Usyk, who put out an appeal to Russia to end the invasion, has also joined his fellow boxers, despite currently being the WBA, IBF and WBO world champion.

Now the 35-year-old has confirmed his involvement in the battle and thrown his summer rematch with Joshua into doubt, giving no timeline of when he'll be back in the ring.

"I really don't know when I'm going to be stepping back in the ring," the 2012 Olympic champion told CNN.

"My country and my honor are more important to me than a championship belt."

Usyk out boxed Joshua last September to become heavyweight champion. Image: PA Images
Usyk out boxed Joshua last September to become heavyweight champion. Image: PA Images

Usyk was a winner by unanimous decision back in September last year, when they met at Wembley, becoming the second man to beat Joshua for the world titles.

It was an incredible performance from the Ukrainian, who was in only his third fight at heavyweight, having previously been the undisputed cruiserweight champion.

There was talk that he would get to face Tyson Fury for the chance to unify all the titles, but Joshua was unwilling to take step aside money.

Instead the two gold medalists from London 2012 were due to meet for a second time, likely once again in the UK, sometime from May onwards.

Usyk out boxed, out thought and out fought Joshua for 12 rounds. Image: PA Images
Usyk out boxed, out thought and out fought Joshua for 12 rounds. Image: PA Images

Asked about taking a life during the fighting in Ukraine, the former cruiserweight said, "If they will want to take my life, or the lives of my close ones, I will have to do it.

"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."

"...The bombing around is crazy. They just bombed the city of Mariupol, one of my friends got a rocket in his roof. [The Russians] are not playing games."

Topics: Oleksandr Usyk, Boxing, Heavyweight Boxing, Anthony Joshua

Ryan Sidle
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