Every day I was praying ‘Please, god, don’t let anybody try to kill me': Boxer Oleksandr Usyk

Kyiv, Ukraine Updated: Jul 01, 2022, 09:46 PM(IST)

Oleksandr Usyk Photograph:( Reuters )

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On being asked if he will return as a soldier? World heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk said that “nobody will let me go to the front line. But a lot of my close friends are on the front line. I’m supporting them and with this fight, I want to bring them some kind of joy in between what they do.”
 

Soon after Vladimir Putin unleashed Russia’s onslaught on Ukraine on 24 February, Oleksandr Usyk, the IBF, WBA and WBO world heavyweight champion and his friend Vasiliy Lomachenko, another of the best boxers in the world, joined the military. But as he patrolled the streets, carrying a machine gun rather than boxing gloves, dread gripped Usyk.

As reported by The Guardian, Oleksandr said, “Every day I was there, I was praying and asking: ‘Please, God, don’t let anybody try to kill me. Please don’t let anybody shoot me. And please don’t make me shoot any other person.”

“My family is not in Ukraine but a lot of my close friends are still in the country. I’m in touch with them every day. I ask them because it’s very important for me, how are they feeling? Are they in a safe place? I want to live there and right after the fight I’m going back to Ukraine,” he added.

On being asked if he will return as a soldier? Usyk said that “nobody will let me go to the front line. But a lot of my close friends are on the front line. I’m supporting them and with this fight, I want to bring them some kind of joy in between what they do.”

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As reported by The Guardian, Usyk shrugs and concentrates instead on the propaganda that is being beamed into ordinary Russian homes. “I don’t believe what they are saying because they are not showing what is true in their country. They are bombing soldiers. They are bombing army battalions. But they are not showing the bombs landing on civilian houses or hospitals. Two days ago in Kyiv, a bomb landed on the house where civilians lived. Two days ago a rocket landed on a shopping mall in Kremenchuk where all the normal people were. Their soldiers are saying on their TV that [Ukrainians] are shooting each other. So I don’t trust what they say.

(with inputs from agencies)
 

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