OLEKSANDR USYK had all the answers for Anthony Joshua’s ill-planned attack last September – but couldn’t explain to his children why Russia wants to kill them.
When bombs fell on his home in Ukraine on February 24, the birthday of his daughter Yelizaveta, the educated 35-year-old father of three was at a loss for words.
The family home of innocent schoolchildren Kyrylo, Mykhailo and Yelizaveta, once shared with their parents in Vorzel, Bucha, has been overrun by Vladimir Putin’s looters.
Every material item Usyk had worked for and earned had gone up in smoke, and the Hollywood actor-turned-turned-heavyweight-king-wannabe had no script to lean on.
He said, “My kids ask, ‘Dad, why do you want to kill us?’ I don’t know how to answer that.
“My family is not in Ukraine now, but many people I know and many of my close friends are in the country.
“I am in touch with them every day and ask them for updates.
“I didn’t want to leave the country. I want to live there, still. I will return to Ukraine right after the fight.”
Fleeing his homeland to join the Kiev Defense Battalion, Usyk had a machine gun slung over his shoulder by February 28, yet prayed he wouldn’t have to use it against a Russian gunman.
It took special permission from legendary President Volodymyr Zelensky and his beloved wife Yekaterina – and inspirational words from wounded Ukrainian soldiers – to convince him to flee his beleaguered homeland and, on August 20, in Saudi Arabia for our mere amusement while wearing gloves to fight in the ring.
He added: “I really didn’t want to leave my country or my city but I went to a hospital where soldiers were being wounded and being rehabilitated from the war and they told me they were urging me to go and for my.” land to fight my pride.
“They told me that if I go there and fight, I will help our country even more than if I stay and fight in the war.
“It took me just one day of war to fully understand that I can lose everything I have, everything I’ve achieved, all my belts, all my titles, in just a second.
“Russian soldiers broke into my house, destroyed a fence and all sorts of other things. They made living quarters and stayed there for a while.
“Every day I was there I prayed to the Lord please don’t let anyone try to kill me, don’t let anyone shoot me and please don’t make me shoot another person.
“But if I had sensed any danger or that my life or that of my family was in danger, I should have done it.”
Somehow this southpaw force of nature is busy preparing for a boxing match in scorching Jeddah, where he’s in line for a £50million windfall.
Since those early spring blasts dashed his World Cup celebrations, his journey has taken him through London, Sheffield, Germany, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and now Dubai.
Wounded soldiers told me that if I go there and fight, I will help our country even more than if I stay and fight in the war.
And he is dying to return to his devastated homeland to inspire his struggling compatriots and try to restore peace to the homeland he reveres.
When asked when he will turn off the heartbreaking updates to focus on the fight, he revealed: “I’ll be following every single day to hear what’s happening in my country.
“If none of this happened, I would be preparing for the fight at home.
“But the war doesn’t motivate me. It would be crazy to be war motivated.
“In their country they do not show the truth. They don’t show that bombs landed in civilian houses or in a maternity hospital, or that a rocket landed in a shopping center a few days ago.
“Your soldiers, your people are saying on TV that we are shooting at each other.”
Incredibly, this plight has not compelled the Orthodox Christian to question his faith.
Instead, he firmly believes this latest challenge is a gift from God that will help him overcome AJ and his new training team once again.
“I watched the fight many times,” he said. “Me and the whole team have been looking for mistakes I’ve made and things I can work on to make sure they go away.
“I don’t even think about him or whatever he wants to do, his new tactics or his new coaches. I really don’t care – I’m just thinking about what I want to do.
“When I fight, I don’t think about what to do, only about winning.
“Ever since I was 16, I have prayed to the Lord and every time I feel I am struggling, I thank Him.
Even more chilling for Joshua than Usyk’s Cossack warrior haircut, gap-toothed grin and unwavering faith is his vow to have improved on his nearly flawless performance on foreign soil last year.
And any clever banter or funky dance moves you might see between now and August 20th are cover-ups to whip out the PPV and mask the agony inside.
I would pray to the Lord please don’t let anyone try to kill me, don’t let anyone shoot me and please don’t make me shoot another person
The ruthless leftist, who dressed up as Joaquin Phoenix’s terrifying Joker last summer, explained: “Sometimes I just force myself to smile, or I force myself to sing or dance.
“But I don’t even know how to explain all this.
“I watched the first fight many times looking for mistakes I made and things I need to work on to make sure they go away.
“We are working very hard and trying to be better in this next fight. We’re setting new goals and, with the Lord’s help, we’re going to get even better.
“I know a lot of my close friends are on the front lines and fighting, so right now I’m just supporting them.
“With this fight I want to give them some joy in between.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5677445/usyk-kids-terror-bombs-ukraine-russia-joshua/ ‘Dad, why do you want to kill us?’ – The terror of the Usyk children when bombs were dropped in Ukraine and Russians looted his house