Already with the Klitschko brothers in its ranks, Ukraine now adds another boxer to help defend against Russia’s invasion into the country.
Vasiliy Lomachenko has joined a territorial defense battalion in Ukraine, according to ESPN. The Ukrainian boxer, who is a former world champion in three weight classes, posted a photo of himself armored and dressed in fatigue to his Facebook page Sunday.
According to the report, Lomachenko, in Greece when Russia launched its invasion, had to fly into Bucharest, Romania to reach his Ukrainian home.
Boxing Hall of Famers Vitali Klitschko – the mayor of Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv – and his brother Wladimir have taken up arms as part of the country’s all-out defense. The two former heavyweight champions have long been leading figures in protests against closer ties with Russia.
“We are so proud of our boxers, our real champions in boxing and champions in this war,” Mykola Kovalchuk, president of WBC Ukraine, told ESPN. “We are proud to be Ukrainians.”
The 34-year-old Lomachenko (16-2, 11 KOs), has been linked with a June title fight in Australia against undisputed champion George Kambosos – Lomachenko has already agreed to his side of the deal.
The bout would allow Lomachenko to reclaim the lightweight belts he surrendered in his October 2020 loss to rising star Teofimo Lopez. Kambosos then took the belts from Lopez in November 2021.
Lomachenko has since won two fights since his bout with Lopez, most recently defeating Richard Commey via decision at Madison Square Garden in December. A two-time Olympic gold medalist, Lomachenko is considered one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world.