Usyk manager unfazed by lack of Klitschko support during AJ build-up

Oleksandr Usyk

Ian Walton

Oleksandr Usyk is unfazed at the notion his compatriot Wladimir Klitschko could be cheering against him on Saturday night in London.

Former heavyweight champion Klitschko lost to Anthony Joshua in a 2017 thriller described as a “passing of the torch” battle.

The statement came despite Tyson Fury already taking that torch and owning it two years previously.

Nonetheless, Klitschko has given Joshua advice on how to be most of his opponents since then. And having trained with Klitschko for other fights, Usyk is unfazed by the lack of support shown by his fellow Ukrainian during this build-up.

Klitschko usyk
@Klitschko

Manager Sergey Lapin revealed both Wladimir and Vitali have been non-existent about Usyk’s biggest challenge.

Lapin told bettingsites.co.uk: “Oleksandr has worked incredibly hard in training. He will prove against Joshua that he is the best around. Usyk got help by adding trainer Anatoly Lomachenko who has brought his game to the next level.

“As for the advice from the Klitschko brothers, our fellow Ukrainians, we haven’t seen them in our training camp even once.

“Oleksandr has his own story. He has been writing it for a long time, from the moment he came to the gym at a young age. He does not need anyone else.”

On Friday, after both men weighed in and AJ cemented a 19-pound weight advantage, Klitschko did break his silence on Usyk.

Sadly for the ex-cruiserweight king, it wasn’t to cheer him on or inform Ukrainians that he’s firmly in Usyk’s corner.

“Exciting matchup, the Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk fight,” said Klitschko.

“Looking forward to a war amongst Champions! – Makes me so excited,” he added.

KLITSCHKO and USYK

Usyk has the opportunity of a lifetime and could be considered the best fighter ever to come out of his country if he defeats Joshua on his home patch.

Klitschko has always been a very proud champion. Still, in not cheering Usyk on for this fight, it looks as though “Dr. Steelhammer” either wants Joshua to win or doesn’t want Usyk to overthrow him – or his older brother as Ukraine’s finest.

Either way, it’s not a good look for Klitschko as Usyk heads into the most important fight of his life at Tottenham’s Stadium.

Former pound for pound king Vasily Lomachenko will be ringside, as always. The superstars aim for another British scalp on UK soil.

Lomachenko and Usyk had previously stopped Luke Campbell, Anthony Crolla, and Tony Bellew, plus out-pointed Derek Chisora in their careers.

Phil Jay is the Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America since 2018. And a member of the Sports Journalists’ Association. Follow on Twitter @PhilJWBN.