Watch: Usyk bursts into SONG after intense Joshua face-off


leksandr Usyk surprisingly broke into song during his face-off with Anthony Joshua after Wednesday’s final pre-fight press conference.

The reigning WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight world champion is hoping to successfully defend his belts in a high-profile rematch held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Saturday night, 11 months on from his dominant victory at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Proud Ukrainian Usyk has endured a troubled time since then, returning home to help defend his homeland following the start of the Russian invasion in February.

The former undisputed cruiserweight champion took up arms and signed up to a territorial defence battalion as a military volunteer, joining a number of boxers in helping his country’s efforts, following the likes of Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko, brother Wladimir and Vasiliy Lomachenko.

Usyk left Ukraine in March to begin preparations for his rematch with Joshua.

Oleksandr Usyk sang a Ukrainian song after his face-off with Anthony Joshua in Jeddah

/ Getty Images

The 35-year-old conducted open workouts in Jeddah on Tuesday wearing a t-shirt in the yellow and blue of the Ukrainian flag bearing the words “Colours of Freedom”, also entertaining fans with coin tricks.

Then on Wednesday, Usyk wore a traditional Cossack outfit to the final press conference with Joshua, later remaining on stage after an intense face-off between the heavyweight rivals and breaking into a rendition of ‘Oi u luzi chervona kalyna’.

The patriotic song from 1875 has become a symbol of Ukraine’s resistance against the Russian invasion.

“We learned a lot about each other in the first fight. He learned about me and I learned about him,” Usyk said during the press call.

“But this is not going to be a new bout, it’s going to be the last bout continued for rounds 13,14,15 – for however long it lasts.

“We’ve had enough time to study each other and Saturday will be a great, great fight.

“We were born to compete at life, for belts, for anything. The one who does not compete, does not live.

“All our lives are competitions – for anything, for someone – that’s why we’re competing.”

Watch the video at the top of the page to see Usyk burst into song after his face-off with Joshua.

Quotes from the Press Association.

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