After much speculation on Oleksandr Usyk’s availability for the Anthony Joshua rematch amidst the war in Ukraine, the unified world heavyweight champion has decided to go ahead with the fight after reportedly receiving permission from the Ukrainian Sports Minister to depart the country for the bout in summer.
Usyk to be allowed to leave Ukraine for Joshua rematch this summer
Alexander Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) had defeated Anthony Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) via unanimous decision at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London on 25th September last year, becoming the new WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight champion. Ahead of the rematch, Usyk decided to take up arms to defend Ukraine in the wake of the Russian invasion and the ongoing war, joining his fellow compatriots Vasiliy Lomachenko, Wladimir Klitschko, and Vitali Klitschko.
There had been no certainty about Usyk’s possible return to boxing and it is expected that spending days as a soldier may take a toll on his physical and mental health and “The Cat” may need some more time to get back to fighting conditions. However, the latest developments have given new light towards the rematch.
The report was made by Mike Coppinger of ESPN, who took to Twitter to reveal that Usyk has been granted permission by Vadym Gutzeit, the current Ukrainian Youth and Sport Minister and a former Olympics gold medallist in sabre fencing, to leave Ukraine amidst the war against Russia when all able-bodied men from ages 18 to 60 are barred from escaping the country.
“BREAKING: Oleksandr Usyk has received permission from the Ukrainian Sports Minister to leave the country during war and will begin training camp for a summer rematch with Anthony Joshua for the unified heavyweight championship, sources tell ESPN,” said Coppinger.
BREAKING: Oleksandr Usyk has received permission from the Ukrainian Sports Minister to leave the country during war and will begin training camp for a summer rematch with Anthony Joshua for the unified heavyweight championship, sources tell ESPN. Story coming
— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) March 22, 2022
- Unified heavyweight world champion Oleksandr Usyk has been granted permission by the Ukraine’s Sports Minister to leave the country for the Anthony Joshua rematch
- Usyk had taken up arms for the Ukrainian military in the wake of the Russian invasion and the ongoing war