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Oleksandr Usyk sacrificed nine months of his life to beat Tyson Fury

Oleksandr Usyk sacrificed nine months of his life to beat Tyson Fury

Oleksandr Usyk made extreme sacrifices for his fight with Tyson Fury.

The Ukrainian boxer became the first undisputed heavyweight world champion for 25 years as he earned a split decision win over the Brit on Saturday (18.05.24) and explained that he missed many personal events in the nine months he spent preparing for the bout.

Usyk told reporters: "I don’t think about boxing now. My start [of preparing for Fury] was September 2023.

"Nine months I worked; I missed happy new year; I missed my son’s birthday; I missed my other son’s birthday; I missed my daughter’s birthday; I missed my daughter’s birth. I missed my family’s holidays. All the time, training; training; training. My focus was only this fight.

"Now I’m happy. I want to go back home, go to my church, pray, say, ‘Jesus, thank you’. Because for me, and my country, it’s a big opportunity. I’m grateful for whoever prayed for me, because it’s many people. Thank you."

Usyk came close to knocking out Fury in the ninth round of the contest but says he was more relieved to have prevailed in the eyes of the judges.

He said: "I don’t think about [whether the referee Mark Nelson denied me a knockout by giving Fury a standing count], because we had a win. Maybe. I don’t think about it, because we have a win. Okay – no knockout, no problem. The 12th round was a big drama."

The undisputed world champion once again paid tribute to his late father as he reflected on his historic triumph.

Usyk said: "I miss my father. I said to my father, ‘Listen, you live there; I live here. I love you’. For me it’s hard when my father comes to me [in visions or dreams], because remember, all my life, I know he’s here [with me]."

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