Heavyweight champ Oleksandr Usyk joins Ukrainian defense
Heavyweight boxing champion Oleksandr Usyk has taken up arms to defend his native Ukraine against Russia.
The 35-year-old former Olympic gold medalist has joined a territorial defense battalion, according to ESPN.
Usyk posted several videos on Instagram over the weekend addressed to Russian president Vladimir Putin.
“You can stop this war,” Usyk said. “Please just sit down and negotiate it with us without claims.
“Our kids, wives, grannies are hiding in the basements. We are here in our own country, we cannot do it any other way. We are defending. Stop this war, stop it. No war.”
Usyk defeated Britain’s Anthony Joshua via unanimous decision in September to unify the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles. A rematch is expected in May or June.