Former heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko and his brother Vladimir are ready to take up arms in war in ukraine.
Vitali Klitschko, mayor of the Ukrainian capital Kiev, said Thursday that he plans to fight the Russian invasion, which began in the early hours of the day.
“It’s a really bloody war,” Klitschko said on ITV’s Good Morning Britain. “I have no other choice. I have to do this. I will fight.”
The 50-year-old Klitschko, who became mayor in 2014, has been a prominent figure in the protests against closer ties with Russia. He is also the head of the Kiev City Administration.
Klitschko, a Hall of Fame boxer, is now called up to defend Ukraine and Kiev again, along with his brother Vladimir, who is also a former heavyweight champion and Hall of Famer.
Vladimir, 45, enlisted in the Ukrainian Reserve Army in Kiev this month as Russia started threatening Invade.
Now, the Russian President [Vladimir Putin] He is using the rhetoric of war … he makes it clear that he wants to destroy the Ukrainian state and the sovereignty of its people, wrote Vladimir Klitschko in LinkedIn on Thursday. “Words are followed by missiles and tanks. Destruction and death will come upon us. … We will defend ourselves with all our might and we will defend freedom and democracy.”
Many other Ukrainians were called up to fight as well, as the country began calling up military reservists aged between 18 and 60 to serve for up to one year following a decree by President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Klitschkos are not the only professional boxers affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist and three-team champion Vasily Lomachenko fled Ukraine for Greece.
Heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, who defeated Anthony Joshua in September, was in London this week for a meeting regarding an upcoming video boxing match but returned to Ukraine on Thursday.
“Some wrote to me that I ran away; I didn’t, I was at work but came back, I’m at home,” Usyk said in a video on Instagram in comments translated from Russian. “My friends, we have to unite because it is a difficult time at the moment and I am really emotional and worried about my country and our people. My friends, we have to stop this war. All of us together.”
Victor Postol, who fought on Saturday in Las Vegas against Gary Antoine Russell, wanted to focus only on his fight and not the war and the intense fighting going on in Ukraine.
“The situation in Ukraine has escalated a lot in the past couple of days, and it’s hard not to think about it, but I’m trying to focus on the fight and not the news,” Postol, a former 140-pound champion, said at a press conference on Thursday. to promote Showtime fight. “My family is there in the middle of everything. But I will make my family members there and my family will be safe.”
It’s not just pitches that fight back.
Ukraine’s NBA players Alex Lane and Svyatoslav Mikhailuk condemned the Russian invasion in a statement posted on Twitter on Thursday.
“A great tragedy has befallen our dear homeland, Ukraine,” Mikhailiuk and Lynn said in a statement. We categorically condemn the war. Ukraine is a peaceful and sovereign country inhabited by people who want to determine their own destiny. We pray for our families, friends, relatives and all people who are on the territory of Ukraine.
We hope to end this terrible war as soon as possible. Dear fellow Ukrainians, wait! Our strength is in unity! we are with you!”
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