Oleksandr Usyk beats Anthony Joshua, keeps heavyweight belts – Whittier Daily News

KING ABDULLAH SPORTS CITY, Saudi Arabia — Oleksandr Usyk kissed Ukraine’s blue and yellow flag and gazed at the Saudi Arabian sky as he waited to find out if he had honored his war-torn country by winning his world titles in the retained the heavyweight.

Hearing the victorious words “and still,” an emotional Usyk raised his left arm and pulled the flag over his face.

Six months ago, he was patrolling the streets of Kyiv with an automatic rifle, defending Ukraine from invading Russians.

Here in the ring at King Abdullah Sport City’s arena, the still undefeated Usyk had lived up to his reputation as the sporting pride of Ukraine by defeating Anthony Joshua in a hard-fought rematch on Saturday to secure his WBA, WBO and IBF – belt to keep.

“I dedicate this victory to my country, my family, my team and all the military who are defending this country,” Usyk, 35, said through a translator. “Thanks alot.”

After a grueling five-month training camp, Usyk entered the arena in a blue and yellow top that read “Colors of Freedom” and supported by words of encouragement from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in his late night video address to the nation.

“We stick together,” said the President. “We help each other. We restore what has been destroyed. We fight for all our people. And today we cheer for the representatives of Ukraine – definitely Usyk, our man!”

And Usyk started as a favorite after outclassing Joshua in the first fight in London last September.

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