Klitschko brothers send message to Oleksandr Usyk ahead of Anthony Joshua fight

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Usyk has left Ukraine with the blessing of the Klitschko brothers (Picture: Getty)

Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko have offered their support to Oleksandr Usyk following the heavyweight champion’s decision to leave Ukraine to train for his rematch against Anthony Joshua.

Usyk returned to his homeland in late February following the Russian invasion, joining Kyiv’s territorial defence forces.

His decision to return home and fight threw his proposed rematch with Joshua into jeopardy, having travelled to London to outbox the Briton and claim the world titles last September.

Last week, however, the reigning IBF, WBO and WBA champion confirmed he was leaving Ukraine to begin training for that rematch which is likely to take place at the end of June.

Former heavyweight champions Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko, who have taken up arms in the fight against Russia, are backing their countryman’s decision to swap the battlefield for the boxing ring.

Anthony Joshua v Oleksandr Usyk - Heavyweight Title Fight

Usyk dominated Joshua last year (Picture: Getty)

Vitali, the major of Kyiv, told The Daily Telegraph: ‘Wlad and me had a conversation together about this just a few hours ago.

‘A very important message could be carried through an event like this. We do not know if in three months we will exist.

‘I actually have plans to speak to Oleksandr Usyk to give him advice if he decides to make the fight, to have some special messages that he can put out there.’

Wladimir, who retired from boxing in 2017 following defeat to Joshua, added: ‘There are pros and cons and it’s a hard decision to make for Oleksandr Usyk but to have the Ukrainian flag raised and our anthem played and one of our ambassadors of our country out there in the world with the right mindset could be more positive than negative.

‘We need support. Since the beginning of the war, the economy is down to nothing, but please don’t forget we are defending democratic principles of freedom and free choice.’

MORE : Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk II set for Saudi Arabia in June

MORE : ‘That’s how I will help my country’ – Oleksandr Usyk confirms plans for Anthony Joshua rematch after leaving Ukraine

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