Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk will reportedly leave his country to train ahead of his fight against Anthony Joshua this summer.
Usyk joined the Ukrainian army in Kyiv back in late February, when Russia president Vladimir Putin announced a military operation against the neighbouring country.
According to ESPN, Usyk will begin his training camp in Poland for the heavyweight title rematch. Another Ukrainian boxer, Vasiliy Lomachenko, tried to depart Ukraine after the country instituted martial law, but he finally decided to stay put and will miss out on a fight against George Kambosos.
“I really don’t know when I’m going to be stepping back in the ring,” Usyk told ESPN earlier in March.
“My country and my honour are more important to me than a championship belt.”
Meanwhile, Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, stressed that they will give Usyk as much time as he needs to prepare for the fight.
“Firstly, our thoughts are with everybody in Ukraine,” he told the MMA Hour.
“People are showing incredible bravery out there, particularly some of the great fighters of the past and Oleksandr as well. He can have the time that he needs, we don’t want any fight other than Oleksandr Usyk.”
“So whether there’s a delay to that fight and we have an interim bout – I guess that’s subject to the situation with Oleksandr Usyk and how much time that he needs. It’s a very emotional and personal time for the people of Ukraine, so we respect them and we’ll give them all the time.”