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Joshua hails ‘warrior’ Usyk ahead of rematch

 

Anthony Joshua has nothing but respect for rival Oleksandr Usyk ahead of their massive heavyweight showdown.

 

Five months after Usyk stripped AJ of his WBA, IBF and WBO belts, the Ukrainian hero was defending his country on the frontline.

 

The 35-year-old southpaw slung a machine gun over his shoulder to patrol with the Ukraine Defence Battalion but prayed he would never have to kill a Russian invader.

 

A devout husband and father of three, Usyk only left to start his training camp when injured victims in military hospitals urged him to head for Jeddah and win Saturday’s rematch for national pride.

 

And Watford hero Joshua, 32, said: “If it was me, yes, it would definitely have an impact and I don’t know if it would be positive or negative.

 “I don’t know how I would deal with it but I know it would be tough.

 

“I have never lived in anything like a conflict like that, so I don’t know the sort of ramifications it would have on me.

 

 

“I respect what he has done 100 per cent. It’s his home, isn’t it — you have to defend your home.

 

“It is such a shame that civilians get the worst end of the bargain in wars, when it is a political issue. He is just trying to defend his community so I respect him.

 

“I think I would have done the same, not as a boxer or a warrior, just as a general person,” he added.

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