Oleksandr Usyk earned praise from Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky and former heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko.
The unified Pound for Pound king had too much in his locker for Anthony Joshua for a second time, taking the titles home after months of uncertainty in his country.
Usyk spent time with the Ukrainian armed forces as Russia waged war in the region earlier in 2022. As the battle continued, Usyk left to put his belts on the line in a contracted rematch with Joshua.
After twelve rounds, Usyk emerged victorious to the delight of his leader.
Zelensky said: “Difficult, but so important and necessary victory!
“Defending the title of world champion is a symbol that all those who are of Cossack sort will not give up their own. They will fight for it and will definitely win!”
In his post-fight speech, delayed due to Joshua’s embarrassing rant, Usyk gave glory to the men and women sacrificing their lives.
“I dedicate this match to Ukraine and the Armed Forces. To all those who defend our country,” said Usyk.
Klitschko, whose brother Vitali is Mayor of Kyiv, applauded Usyk’s words.
“What a tremendous fight! I couldn’t be prouder of both fighters,” stated Klitschko. “Usyk showed resilience, heart, and a tactical strategy of a true Champion!
“Glory to Ukraine,” added the ex-Joshua opponent.
Elder sibling Vitali is yet to put out a statement on the win. However, he did cheer Usyk on before the event.
Vitali rallied: “Friends! Another battle for Ukraine will take place today. Let it be a sports match, but victories in everything are important for us today!
Oleksandr Usyk, we believe and cheer! Glory to Ukraine! Glory to Ukraine!”
Cementing his place as the top boxer on the planet, Usyk is now free to explore other opportunities like a possible clash with Tyson Fury.
“The Gypsy King” holds the only belt Usyk needs to complete the set. Talks should get underway before a WBC deadline for Fury to confirm or reverse yet another retirement.
The WBC handed down a date of August 26th. However, due to a tragic family incident, Fury may be afforded more time by the World Boxing Council.
Cousin Rico Burton was stabbed to death when on a night out with friends over the fight weekend. Fury wants stricter measures on knife crime as a result.
Eventually, the sport will determine whether Fury fancies the job against Usyk. If he does, he’ll keep the green and gold title. If he doesn’t, he will vacate.
Fans will know which one it is soon enough.