Oleksandr Usyk, A True Warrior From Boxing to Battlefield


Ever since the earliest days of boxing, the heavyweight division has always been the center of attention for many fans. Over the decades, we have seen some incredible eras in heavyweight boxing, and after a few lackluster years, we have recently been witnessing a reignited heavyweight division, with fighters like Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury, Deontey Wilder, and many others.

However, in 2020, Oleksandr Usyk, the former undisputed cruiserweight world champion, entered the division and shocked everyone by defeating British world champion Anthony Joshua and becoming the unified champion.

Moreover, despite facing a war in his home country, Oleksandr Usyk continues to compete at the highest level and speaks up for his fellow countrymen wherever he gets the opportunity. More than a boxer, Oleksandr Usyk is a Warrior and has a very motivating story.

From Boxing to Battlefield, Oleksandr Usyk is a True Warrior

From the Football field to the boxing ring - Early life of Oleksandr Usyk

Oleksandr Usyk was born in 1987, in a small town of Crimea, which was then a part of the USSR. He comes from humble beginnings, and saw the value of hard work, and struggle from a very young age. His mother was a construction worker, and his father was a military man, who had passed through Afghanistan and worked in Crimea as a security guard.

As a young kid, Oleksandr Usyk got into football rather than boxing, and he trained at the SC Tavriya Simferopol specialized sports school of the Olympic reserve. Oleksandr Usyk got into boxing at the age of 15 at the suggestion of his father and fell in love with the sport.

From Amateur Contender to Olympic Gold

He was an exceptionally talented athlete and within 4 years of stepping into the boxing ring, he was competing in the  2006 European Championships, where he made it to the semi-finals, winning the bronze medal. 2008 was a massive year for Us Yks Amateur Career. He won gold in the European championships and got a silver medal in the boxing world cup held in Moscow.

By this time, Oleksandr Usyk began to show signs of being a world-class boxer. The next year, he qualified for the world championships. He didn't win, but made it to the semi-finals and won the bronze medal. In 2011, he competed in the world championships for the second time, and this time, he left with the gold medal, becoming the best amateur heavyweight boxer in the world.

Oleksandr Usyk also qualified for the 2012 London Olympics and won an Olympic gold medal for Ukraine competing at heavyweight.

From Boxing to Battlefield, Oleksandr Usyk is a True Warrior

Oleksandr Usyk Rise to Cruiserweight Undisputed Boxing Champion

Oleksandr Usyk started his professional career in 2013 and had a lot of success. Since he was coming with a massive amateur pedigree, he got the toughest matchups from day one, and after knocking out his first four opponents, he got a chance to fight for the WBO Inter-Continental cruiserweight title. He won the fight and defended the regional title four times.

At this point in his career, Oleksandr Usyk had won all of his fights via knockout and was beating up one contender after the other. So, he finally got a shot at the WBO cruiserweight title. Oleksandr Usyk defeated Krzysztof Głowacki via a Unanimous decision to win the title.

Usyk continued to defend the title and competed in the World Boxing Super Series, where he fought Mairis Briedis in the Semi-Finals. The WBC Cruiserweight title was on the line for this fight, and though the fight was competitive, Oleksandr Usyk clearly won a Majority Decision, becoming a unified world champion.

In his very next fight, and the finals of the World Boxing Super Series, Oleksander Usyk fought Murat Gassiev. Oleksandr Usyk Held the WBO and WBC cruiserweight titles, and Gassiev held the WBA and IBF titles, along with The Ring Cruiserweight belt. With all four major world titles on the line, the winner of the fight would leave with the Undisputed Cruiserweight title.

Oleksandr Usyk easily outclassed Gassiev and won the fight via unanimous decision, becoming the Undisputed Cruiserweight world champion.

From Boxing to Battlefield, Oleksandr Usyk is a True Warrior

Oleksandr Usyk Taking Over the Heavyweight Division

After making a title defense against Tony Bellew, Oleksandr Usyk decided to move up in weight, and face the challenge of one of the most stacked heavyweight divisions in modern boxing. 

After defeating Derek Chisora, and winning the WBO Intercontinental heavyweight title, Oleksandr Usyk challenged Anthony Joshua for his unified world titles. Joshua held the unified  WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles at the time, and was a heavy favorite against Oleksandr Usyk.

However, Oleksandr Usyk proved to be too much for Joshua, and he put on a technical masterclass to defeat Joshua and win the titles. 

The pair had a rematch in 2022, and this time The Ring title was also on the line. The fight was closer than the first one, with Joshua having some good moments, however, Oleksandr Usyk still easily won the fight via Split Decision, and retained his titles.

Fighting for his homeland in the Warzone and the Ring

Oleksandr Usyk has a deep love for his homeland of Ukraine. After winning the first fight against Joshua, he was in Ukraine when it was attacked by Russia. Oleksandr Usyk joined the local territorial defense forces to defend Kyiv and supported wounded soldiers on the frontlines. He didn't have any intentions of leaving his country to fight until he visited one of the field hospitals on the front lines.

All the soldiers, even those who were wounded, greeted him with smiles and told him that they wanted their champion to fight for them away from the war in the boxing ring. Oleksandr Usyk realized that he could be much more valuable in raising awareness about the conflict around the world and raising the morale of his soldiers by winning in the boxing ring.

He went to Saudi Arabia to defend his titles in a rematch against Anthony Joshua, however, after winning, he was back in Ukraine nine days later, supporting his fellow countrymen on the frontlines.

So, Oleksandr Usyk is much more than a boxer. He has the heart of a true warrior.

From Boxing to Battlefield, Oleksandr Usyk is a True Warrior

What's Next Fight for Oleksandr Usyk

With the ongoing war in Ukraine, there isn't much certainty about Oleksandr Usyk’s next fight, however, he recently faced off against Tyson Fury after his fight in London. Fury Called Oleksandr Usyk out for a title unification fight, which could be one of the biggest fights of this year.

Oleksandr Usyk holds the WBA, WBO, and IBF world titles, whereas Fury holds the WBC heavyweight world title. So, the winner of the fight will leave the ring as the Undisputed champion, and a high number in the pound-for-pound rankings.

Whether that fight materializes or not, you can be certain that Oleksandr Usyk has some big fights in the future.