One of the most successful athletes in Ukraine won a victory last weekend that allowed him to take his career to the next level. However, none of the Ukrainian TV channels showed the fight of him, AiF reports.
Alexander Usyk is an Olympic champion in London 2012, in the summer of 2018 he became the winner of the 1st season of the World Boxing Super Series in the first heavyweight, defeating the Russian Murat Gassiev in the final on points. The Ukrainian became the absolute world champion, the owner of the Mohammed Ali Cup for the best crusader of the world and the title of champion.
In November 2018, Usyk fought against Briton Tony Bellew and, having won by knockout, announced his intention to move to heavyweight. On October 31, 2020, at Wembley Arena in London, a 12-round heavyweight fight for the status of an official contender for the WBO world title between Usyk and Briton Derek Chisora took place.
For radical nationalists in Ukraine Alexander Usyk nowadays is considered “unacceptable”. The athlete refuses to live by the rules that have been established in the country since 2014. A native of Simferopol, Usyk does not want to answer any questions about Crimea, does not refuse to be friends with Russian athletes, and still visits the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate.
In 2016, in an interview, he remarked, “They support me in Crimea, all over Russia I have a lot of fans. In principle, I do not divide our peoples, for we are Slavs. Let’s say so – the Slavic people. There are no obstacles, only someone has obstacles in their heads”.
In the spring of 2020, a film entitled “Hello, Brother, Christ is Risen!” was released on the Korsunskaya Pustyn YouTube channel. The film tells about the faithful friendship of Ukrainian boxers, world champions Vasily Lomachenko and Alexander Usyk with Russian athletes. In the film, Alexander told how he ignored the invitation to Petro Poroshenko, the former president of his country because at that moment he went to the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Onuphrius.
“Sorry, I have a workout, I can’t answer the call at 6 pm.’ They say that this is the president. But when they beat me in the ring, the president will not help me,” told Usyk.
After the release of the film, Usyk and Lomachenko were both added to the base of the Ukrainian site “Mirotvorets”, which is a sign that they were both declared “enemies of the people” and “Moscow agents”. When two weeks ago Lomachenko suffered an unexpected defeat at the hands of the American Teofilo Lopez, it turned into a real holiday for the Ukrainian nationalists.
A former head of the Odessa nationalist party “Right Sector” Sergei Sternenko wrote on his social network page, “Lopez is a champion. The pro-Russian collaborator Lomachenko lost. Alexander Usyk, the mud from the Moscow region, now it’s your turn. We all remember.”
The editor of the Ukrainian TV channel ‘Dom’ broadcasting to Donbass, Oleg Borisov, shares quite the same opinion harassing a person fighting with the Ukrainian flag.
“I don’t congratulate Usyk, because he doesn’t see the Russian military in Donbass, he doesn’t know that Crimea is occupied (they didn’t force him, he himself goes to pro-Russian TV channels and says stuff with no point) […] Now I have doubts about the country he represents.”
Thus, the athlete’s compatriots had to watch his important fight on Russian TV, the REN-TV channel. The reason was that not a single TV channel in Ukraine broadcasted the event. The only paid Internet resource sold access to the fight in Ukraine, but most of those who wished to watch it used the Russian channel, though the broadcast of it is prohibited on the territory of Ukraine.
Only 12 hours after the end of the battle, when Ukrainian social media users were already openly making fun of the country’s president’s behaviour in this situation, he emerged on Twitter saying, “Alexander, it was a cool victory! Ukraine is proud!”
Ukrainian journalist, Dmytro Vasilets, shared his thoughts, “The Ukrainian flag was raised again in the international sports arena, the Ukrainian anthem sounded, the whole world again learned how rich our land is in talents. The “Patriots of Ukraine” counted on the defeat of the Ukrainian and rooted for his rival, gradually degrading in their pseudo-patriotic frenzy. They do not know why Usyk did not support the murder of Ukrainians in Donbass, why he is not ashamed of his faith and convictions, for them the worldview of the winners is alien. It is difficult for them to live without teams from the embassies, without grants, impunity and cosy caches - this is their world. But you should not pay attention to the flawed, and following Usyk's example, you should work on the development of our country, each in your own direction."