Heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk enlists in the Ukrainian army
Heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk has enlisted in the Ukrainian army, claiming his "country and honour" are more important than any fight in the ring as he prepares to defend Ukraine's capital Kyiv against invading Russian forces.
In an interview with CNN, Usyk explained that his honour compels him to defend his home nation and he is unsure of the next time he would step in the ring to fight a boxing match. Usyk was supposed to have a rematch fight with Anthony Joshua in May.
"There is no fear, absolutely no fear," he told CNN. "There's just bafflement - how could this be in the 21st century? I really don't know when I'm going to be stepping back in the ring. My country and my honour are more important to me than a championship belt," he said.
Usyk has previously called on the Russian people to resist the war and for the country's president Vladimir Putin to engage in peace talks without pre-conditions or claims to Ukrainian territory. He is one of several former and current Ukrainian boxers who have come to the defence of their homeland.
Vasiliy Lomachenko, a three-weight world champion who has victories against Britons Luke Campbell and Anthony Crolla on his professional record as well as two Olympic golds from his time as an amateur, has also taken up arms.
Brothers Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko, both former heavyweight world champions, are also in Kyiv.