Oleksandr Usyk breaks out into Ukrainian War Anthem after an intense press conference with Anthony Joshua

Oleksandr Usyk breaks out into Ukrainian War Anthem after an intense press conference with Anthony Joshua

Usyk himself was on the frontlines when the invasion begun earlier this year

As Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk Lace up their gloves for their second clash, this time in the deserts of Saudi. The intensity of the rematch was only topped by Usyk’s emotions running high with respect to his country’s plight.


As many are well aware, Usyk’s hometown of Ukraine has been under a full-scale invasion by Russia since February of this year. The former cruiserweight was scheduled to face off against Joshua in a rematch in the first half of 2022, but in light of the invasion and Usyk’s return to defend his homeland, the bout was put in eternal jeopardy

However, after receiving permission from the Ukrainian Sports Minister, Usyk was permitted to leave the country and prepare for his rematch against Joshua. In this, he was particularly inspired by the Mayor of Kyiv, Vitally Klitschko, and his brother Wladimir, both former heavyweight champions.

Related: “I’ll get the credit I deserve”- Anthony Joshua talks about avenging his loss against Oleksandr Usyk


Oleksandr Usyk pays tribute to Ukraine at Anthony Joshua face-off

Oleksandr Usyk x Anthony Joshua
Joshua and Usyk in their first clash at Wembley

As Usyk settled into a camp by May of this year, the rematch was officially announced by Hearn in June. The bout will have immense stakes for the heavyweight division as with a victory, Joshua could become a three-time heavyweight champion the same title held by Muhammad Ali. However with the undefeated Ukrainian in his way, the achievement is easier dreamed that put to paper.

Despite being away from his family and home of Ukraine, it’s people still loom large in Usyk’s mind as he paid tribute to them in a spontaneous incident at the face offs after their final press conference.

As he faced off against his opponent Joshua, the smaller man Usyk looked confident and intimidating as ever. As they broke eye contact, Joshua would head down the stage, while Usyk would stay behind and break out into a song.

Also Read: Watch: Oleksandr Usyk dance with fans before filming promo footage for the Anthony Joshua rematch fight


The song in question is a Ukrainian Folk song that was appropriated by the Ukrainian Army after the start of the war. The singer Andriy Khlyvnyuk, was a member of a band that was touring the US when the invasion of his country started. He would head back home and in full combat, gear would sing the folk song titled “Oy U Luzi Chervona Kalyna” that went viral across the country and some parts of the world.

As Usyk heads into his first title defense, how much do you think the atrocities going on in his country will cloud his focus? Do you think the circumstances of the rematch inherently favour Joshua? Let us know.

Also Read: Watch: Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua participate in a chilling face-off ahead of the highly anticipated rematch