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Oleksandr Usyk hoping to make Ukrainians proud in Joshua rematch

World heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk hopes the people of Ukraine can have a party when he fights Anthony Joshua this weekend.

Update:
JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - AUGUST 15: Oleksandr Usyk of Ukraine
Francois NelGetty

Oleksandr Usyk is determined to do his fellow Ukrainians proud when he faces Anthony Joshua on Saturday and vowed to help them in any way he can.

Usyk outclassed Joshua at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September to win the IBF, WBA and WBO world heavyweight titles.

The 35-year-old will defend his belts for the first time in a rematch with the Briton in Saudi Arabia this weekend.

Oleksandr Usyk of Ukraine
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Oleksandr Usyk of UkraineFrancois NelGetty

Usyk has been involved in a battle that is much bigger than any boxing fight since he became world champion, returning to his homeland to defend his country following Russia’s invasion.

He has set up the Usyk Foundation to support humanitarian aid for Ukrainians in need of medical care, shelter and food.

Usyk has also ensured his second bout with Joshua in Jeddah will be free to watch for the people of his war-torn country and he hopes to put on a show for his compatriots.

Boost for Ukraine

“I want to help my people and my country and Saturday night is going to be a small party for them, maybe a big party,” he told Sky Sports. I will do my best to give the best performance that I can.

“It’s important because the war is taking place and we have to help people. Whether they need food, we supply them with food. Whether they need anything else, we have to help them.

“Because this is something that is happening in our hearts and our assignment is to keep positive and keep other people positive.

Ukrainian servicemen train using commercial drones in a military capacity
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Ukrainian servicemen train using commercial drones in a military capacityAnadolu AgencyGetty

“I have a group of people who work hard to find families in need. Maybe they need some kind of house to live, some food to support, maybe some money to spend for their families.

“They are looking for these people, they are analysing what are their needs and they help in satisfying their needs. This is something that they do every day and this is something that will be done in the future because this is actually the mission of the foundation.”