Boxer Oleksander Usyk praises God after beating Anthony Joshua to become world champion
Ukrainian boxer Oleksander Usyk has dedicated his victory over British fighter Anthony Joshua to God.
Speaking to Sky News just after the match, the new world heavyweight champion said: “The only thing I wanted to do with this fight is to give praise to my Lord Jesus Christ and to say that all comes from him.”
But this is not the first time the Ukrainian boxer has been vocal about his faith. In a 2019 interview with news outlet 122 International, Usyk shared how he became an orthodox Christian while in hospital as a kid.
“He gave us some sweets. All the kids ran around, not realizing that this tall man, with a black beard and a big cross on his chest just came to save our little sinful souls. I sat near him and asked where God is, how to come to him, where he lives, how he sees and hears us," the boxer recalls.
"And then he said: you are still small enough, why are you so interested in God? To which I replied that I would see him soon. He said: why did you decide that? I said that I heard my mom's conversation with the doctor, who told me that I was very ill, or something like that. To which he replied that it’s not doctors who decide, but only God will decide whether you live or die. And from that time I began to resort to our Lord Jesus Christ and follow him. He does not follow me, but I go after him. Every day I say thanks to him for an every great day lived," Usyk continued.
The 34-year-old dethroned Anthony Joshua at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday night becoming only the third cruiserweight world champion to step up a weight and become the heavyweight world champion after Evander Holyfield and David Haye.
He now holds the WBA, IBF and WBO belt, after a unanimous points decision.
For Anthony Joshua this represents only the second defeat in his career. He said he is confident he will win back his world boxing titles.