Vasiliy Lomachenko, Ukrainian Former World Champion Boxer and Olympian, Joins Fight Against Russia: Report

Former world champion boxer Vasiliy Lomachenko joins Ukraine defense battalion
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The 34-year-old two-time Olympic gold medalist has joined a territorial defense battalion in Ukraine, a report said.

Former world champion boxer Vasiliy Lomachenko has changed out of his boxing shorts into army fatigues as he joined Ukraine defense battalion to help defend his country against Russia.

The 34-year-old two-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time division champion returned to Ukraine when the invasion began, according to a report. 

Traveling to his native Ukraine was no easy feat. On Friday, his flight was delayed due to air traffic being grounded. He then flew into Bucharest and traveled through Romania in order to reach his home outside of Odessa to be with his family, ESPN reported. 

On Sunday, Lomachenko posted a photo of himself armored and dressed in military fatigues next to local Mayor Vitaliy Hrazhdan. “The Belgorod-Dniester Territorial Defense Battalion has been formed and armed,” the post read.

Fellow former heavyweight champions and Hall of Fame boxers Vitali Klitschko, 50, and his brother, Wladimir Klitschko, 45, have also joined the fight against Russia. They enlisted in Ukraine’s reserve army earlier this month as Russia began threatening an invasion.

Vitali Klitschko, the major of Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, and head of the Kyiv City State Administration, and his brother have been long-leading figures in protests against closer ties with Russia, The New York Post previously reported. 

“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,” Wladimir Klitschko wrote on LinkedIn last week. “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."

Heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk flew back to his native Ukraine on Thursday, to help defend his country. Usyk had been in London on a business trip at the time.

“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 video in comments translated from Russian, The New York Post reported. “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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