By: Sean Crose
Former multi divisional titlist and Ukrainian citizen Vasyl Lomachenko has returned to his homeland to join in the nation’s fight against the Russian military invasion which began last week. According to TMZ, the 34 year old fighter, widely regarded as one of the best on earth, “reportedly joined a territorial defense battalion.” Pictures of the athlete sometimes known as “Hi-Tech” due to his seemingly advanced, highly mobile ring style, have been making the rounds of the internet, as Lomachenko is seen dressed in military attire and holding a rifle. What effect if any this has on the 16-2 Lomachenko’s potential fight with lightweight titlist George Kambosos remain to be seen, as at the moment there are far more serious matters to attend to.
Yet Lomachenko isn’t the only Ukrainian fighter to have joined in the battle against Russian aggression. According to talkSPORT, current heavyweight titlist Oleksandr Usyk has also reportedly returned home to join “the Kyiv Territorial Defense.” A photo of the undefeated fighter holding a rifle and dressed as a citizen soldier is also making it’s way across the internet. Usyk is set for a massive rematch against former heavyweight titlist Anthony Joshua, yet the war – and especially Ukraines’ need for soldiers – may well put a hold on that affair as well. With both Lomachenko and Usyk risking their lives, as well as multi-million dollar paydays, it’s clear that, among it’s professional boxer’s at least, Ukraine has an exceedingly patriotic population.
The world was rattled last Thursday when Russia, led by President Wladimir Putin, unleashed an all out invasion of Ukraine, bringing about it horrify images reminiscent of the Second World War while at the same time bringing around much of the globe to the Ukrainian cause. Former heavyweight kingpins, brothers Wladimir and Kiev mayor Vitali, Klitschko have gone from being international stars to international wartime figures with their openly military support of their homeland. Fortunately, none of the Ukrainian fighters here have thus far been hurt of killed. This, however, is clearly the most deadly and important battle they or their fellow countrymen have ever faced.