Sports

Klitschko brothers, HOF boxers from Ukraine, plan to fight for country


Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko are defending their homeland.

Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko are defending their homeland.
Image: Getty Images

The scenes coming out of Ukraine are intense, surreal, and incredibly concerning. “World War 3” also trended on Twitter on Thursday, and the impact of the conflict continued to reach across the sports world.

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Fedor Smolov, a Russian soccer star, posted a blacked-out picture on Instagram, with the caption “No to war.”

On the Ukrainian side, Hall of Fame boxers and brothers Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko said they plan to fight for Ukraine, and not like a charity boxing match to support loved ones who lost family members, but like fight fight, like take up arms, according to ESPN.

Vitali, 50, also is the mayor of Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, and he spoke about the decision on ITV’s “Good Morning Britain,” on Thursday.

“It’s already a bloody war,” Klitschko said. “… I don’t have another choice. I have to do that. I would fight.”

Wladimir, 45, enlisted in the reserve army earlier this month, and made a statement via LinkedIn on Thursday.

“Now, the Russian president [Vladimir Putin] is using war rhetoric … he makes it clear that he wants to destroy the Ukrainian state and the sovereignty of its people. Words are followed by missiles and tanks. Destruction and death come upon us. … We will defend ourselves with all our might and fight for freedom and democracy.”

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And heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, another Ukrainian boxer, has returned home after a meeting in London regarding a video game, according to ESPN.

“Some wrote to me that I ran away; I didn’t, I was at work but I’m back, I’m home,” Usyk said in an Instagram post. “Friends, we have to unite because it’s a hard time right now and I’m really emotional and worry about my country, and our people. Friends, we have to stop this war; all of us together.

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Wow. Kudos to those guys.

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