Ukrainian champion boxer turns down world title fight to defend his country

Ukrainian champion boxer turns down world title fight to defend his country. Credit: @vasiliylomachenko/ Facebook

Ukrainian champion boxer turns down world title fight to defend his country.

UKRAINIAN Vasiliy Lomachenko, a former three-weight champion boxer, has turned down the chance of a world title fight in order to stay and defend his country.

Lomachenko was in talks to fight lightweight champion George Kambosos Jr in Australia later this year, however, the boxer, who is considered as one of the sport’s current pound-for-pound greats, has made the decision to fight for his country instead.

The 34-year-old fighter from Odessa returned to his hometown to join the territorial defence battalion and recently shared a picture of himself on Facebook dressed in his uniform. Lomachenko has been working on a security detail near the Russian border, according to the Metro.

In the caption for the photo, Lomachenko shared a message from local mayor Vitaly Hrazhdan, which read: “The Belgorod-Dniester Territorial Defense Battalion has been formed and armed. Boxer Vasyl Lomachenko is in the defence.”

On March 2, the Ukrainian city of Odessa came under attack from Russian forces with heavy explosions reported near the airport and video footage at the time showing a potential missile attack reportedly launched from Russian warships, who were spotted near the city.

28-year-old Australian boxer Kambosos, who was set to square off against the Ukrainian in a tentatively scheduled June 5 fight, and his camp, reacted positively to the news, stating that the “fight he’s fighting is much bigger than boxing”.

The champion’s promoter Lou DiBella told Boxing Scene: “I spoke to Egis Klimas [Lomachenko’s manager] and he confirmed that Loma would not be available to fight George next

“He thanked me and thanked Kambosos for giving him ample opportunity to make up his mind, and he thanked us for doing the deal in the first place.

“We had an inkling the other day when the [Ukrainian] government had said it was OK [for Lomachenko to fight], but we didn’t hear an affirmative response [from Lomachenko], we had a sense that this was likely. So, we were not shocked.

“But Egis confirmed today that he’s gonna stay in Ukraine. We commend him. We think the fight he’s fighting is much bigger than boxing. And our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family, and with the Ukrainian people. What they’re going through obviously is far more significant than any boxing match.”

Kambosos is now set to defend his WBO, WBA and IBF titles against Devin Haney, as reported by the Daily Mail.

Following the news, Kambosos tweeted: “I respect your decision and I totally understand and I pray for you and your country.

“Please stay safe and once I wipe the floor with Devin, we will make this fight between two real champions. God bless”.

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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]


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