Boxing: Oleksandr Usyk, the Argentinian soccer fan who left the kyiv trench and won the fight of his life in Saudi Arabia

The echo of the Ukrainian’s World Cup retention Oleksandr Usyk (100.5 kilos), WBA, IBF and WBA heavyweight titleholder, against English Anthony Joshua (111), by points in twelve rounds in a split decisionwent beyond the scenic bombast of financial power and money Saudi Arabia. Neither the natural scenery made up of hundreds of boats that cross the Red Sea and seem to lose themselves in infinity among turbans, tunics, camels and oil wells, nor the movement of more than 100,000,000 dollars that originated this event held in Jeddah, took out of focus a man who tried to bring joy to a country on fire and on the verge of death: Ukraine.The fight was slow and overly thoughtful. It gave much less than expected. Joshua, who had advantages for much of the match, was unable to sustain Usyk’s comeback in the final part, which allowed him to close the gap by connecting to the chin of the Englishman, who looked as cold as ever. He did not know how to repeat his good blows to his body and not take advantage of his (visible) physical and mental freshness over an overwhelmed Usyk, who never managed to mentally free himself from the war situation in his country. And he was noticed in the ring.Usyk dodges a punch from Anthony Joshua; the Ukrainian kept his unbeaten record in Jeddah and increased it to 25 fights.Nick Potts-PAThe card for THE NATION (produced through television) granted a equality at 114. The champion won rounds 1, 4, 7, 10, 11 and 12, and the challenger won rounds 2, 3, 5, 6, 8 and 9. Beyond the even and difficult to score, the final imbalance was established by the British jury, which opted for Usyk (115-113). The remaining judges, from the United States and Ukraine, ruled for Joshua and Usyk, respectively. After the verdict there was a parade of Ukrainian flags, carried by both boxers.Usyk was pushed into the ring by the mayor of kyiv, Vitaly Klitschkoformer world heavyweight champion, and the president of his nation, Volodymyr Zelenskythat invited him to complete his voluntary service in the national army by laying down his arms in favor of boxing gloves. In this way he reissued an immortal page in the history of boxing and humanity, the one lived by the mythical joe louisin the hours before his victory over the German max schmeling, at Yankee Stadium, New York, on June 22, 1938, just over a year before World War II. At that time, the president Franklin Delano Roosevelt He talked to Louis and said: “We need muscles like yours to beat Germany”. Joe accomplished the task in 124 seconds. Without having recorded his wishes on the marquee of indelible phrases, in the farewell hug from kyiv to Jeddah, the Ukrainian priests fraternized with Usyk in the same way: “It will be more important to explain to the world what that involve a Russian bombardment and being kneeling in the trench.”Usyk, Joshua and the Ukrainian flag, central protagonist in the boxing meeting held in Saudi Arabia, with the war as a trigger.Usyk, Joshua and the Ukrainian flag, central protagonist in the boxing meeting held in Saudi Arabia, with the war as a trigger.TwitterUsyk extended his unbeaten to 25 wins. He chose to speak little of the match and added: “Today’s world is very special. I made four or five trips to space in these times of war and I realized a lot of things. Instagram, Tik-Tok and social networks make stupid those who are after them all day. People forgot about reading and literature, filling the brain with wisdom and useful things. Sometimes I ask myself: “Why still, at the 35 years, I’m still in boxing? And I answer: «Because I prepared for this all my life. Since I was a child»”.We met Usyk at the end of 2019 in Cancun, Mexico, at an annual convention of the World Boxing Council. ”I am a fan of Argentine soccer. I was a youth soccer player. Y I admire Messi… Also, everyone tells me about Argentine meat… The steaks and the churrasco”, he told us. Rarely do we face a situation like this. The fight for the most valuable championship in this trade was – simply – a detail. And the sensations of a champion who left his country’s battalion to fight in Arabia were much more interesting than his future, than the uppercut and the cross.

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