“Usyk will inspire millions of people.” Interview with Alexander Krasyuk about Joshua, Fury and the war in Ukraine


Promoter of the unified heavyweight champion (over 90.7 kg) from Ukraine Oleksandr Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) Alexander Krasyuk gave
interview for the British media on the eve of the London press conference of Usyk’s rematch against former British champion Anthony Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs).

Oleksandr spoke about the beginning of military operations of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine, Usyk’s decision to rematch with Joshua and his importance for the Ukrainian nation, and also spoke about a possible fight for the title of absolute champion against the WBC title holder Briton Tyson Fury (32-0-1, 23 KO).

– Were there any difficulties on your part with returning to the training camp and everything else because of the situation in Ukraine, because it is obvious that Usyk wanted to be with his people.

– This is true. This is an absolutely extraordinary situation for all Ukrainians. Every day people die. It was a truly unexpected invasion by a neighboring country into our country. The first day was an absolute shock for all of us. Later, like all people, we began to get used to it. After a few weeks, you come to your senses and begin to analyze things correctly. It took us a long time, it took a lot of effort and will to do it.

Usyk defended his home and had the opportunity to speak with a large number of soldiers. He visited hospitals. And most advised him to leave and fight, because participation in such a big, world-class event would help Ukraine in a different way. This will draw the attention of hundreds of millions of people around the world to Ukraine. The Ukrainian flag will be in the ring, the Ukrainian anthem will be played. In fact, this was the point where he made his personal and final decision to take on the case. Then we received official permission from the government to leave the country and take part in this show.

Where are you currently training camp?

– At the moment he trains in the same climatic zone – in Dubai.

Does this worry Usyk because it’s not what he’s used to?

No, he is a road warrior. I can’t remember when was his last fight, which took place in Ukraine. It must have been the fight before the first cruiserweight title fight. All the rest were in Germany, Latvia, USA, England. So there is no problem for him here. No problem for him in training. His family is safe, his mom is safe. He does not feel anxiety for his family. He stays focused along with his team. They work hard, do things they haven’t done before. They need to fulfill obligations that they did not make before. You have to defend your belts as a champion.

Fight Usyk – Joshua 2: an interesting analysis from a top coach

– You mentioned that Usyk visited hospitals, met with soldiers, and they all encouraged him to fight Joshua, because he can use his platform for good. Does it give him additional motivation to do this work?

– I’m sure it will. The hearts of the whole nation will be with him, will support him in a very important duel for the whole country. Ukraine needs a victory. Whatever victory is, it is a motivation for the entire nation. I think this will not be an additional motivation, it will be a huge incentive for him to win and dedicate this victory to his homeland.

How did you react when you heard that Joshua was changing his team?

If you didn’t succeed, then you made a mistake. If you made a mistake, you need to work on the mistakes. I’m sure Joshua is a very smart person. He probably made an analysis of what was wrong and made a decision to improve some sort of things in training. We don’t know what to expect from the fight because this is a new coach. No one knows how this will affect Anthony Joshua. Well, since he made such a serious decision, there must be a serious reason behind it.

Usyk, like any fighter, doesn’t look too far away from his fight. You are a promoter, you have that privilege, and you need to make long-term plans, I believe. What are Usyk’s future plans if he beats Joshua for the second time?

– I dont know. Otherwise, this fight would not be interesting to watch. Indeed, Joshua is not a child from kindergarten, he is a very serious person. He, like any person, has good and bad sides in terms of boxing. But it has a really large number of advantages. Such as size, experience, impact. And he has some things he’s not good at compared to Usyk. Such as footwork, speed, boxing IQ, which comes with experience in amateur boxing.

We don’t know what Usyk will do – Coach Joshua

Whoever wins the rematch will be called to fight for the WBC title. Tyson Fury currently claims he is retired and wants £500m to return. Are you attracted to this fight for Usyk?

“First of all, this is not the first time that Tyson Fury has retired. Secondly, Tyson Fury is not good at rematches. Well, he worked well in rematches with Wilder, but he didn’t work well with Wladimir Klitschko. Four belts is something that has never happened in the history of the heavyweight division. So this is a historic moment. And it’s not about money, it’s about heritage. And this is really an incentive for a warrior. If a fighter is a real man, he will agree to fight even for free to get such a status. So I don’t think it’s Tyson Fury’s big problem. I think he will easily make the decision to return.

– If Usyk becomes the undisputed heavyweight champion, will he become the best fighter in the history of Ukraine?

– He will probably be the best fighter of all time, not only in Ukraine. Nobody became the absolute champion in two divisions. This is history.

– Returning to the terrible situation in your homeland, do you see a peaceful outcome in the near future?

– This is a war. A war ends when one side is defeated or a peace agreement is reached. If we look at history, every war, no matter how long it lasted, ended with an agreement. Good, bad – but it’s a fact. The current situation is no exception. This war will end one day. But the Ukrainians will do everything they can to ensure that an agreement is reached on our terms.

– What impact will Usyk’s victory have on the morale of Ukrainians?

– Absolutely huge. Usyk is a national hero. He is an icon for the younger generation. He is a very powerful example when a child from a village, from a poor family, through hard work and perseverance, was able to achieve success in his life. He will inspire millions around the world and especially in his native Ukraine. Just entering the ring in these difficult times will raise the spirit of Ukrainians, I don’t know, to some heavenly level.

Fury agrees to fight with 50-year-old Usyk, sneers at “diva” Joshua