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Vasiliy Lomachenko, considered by many to be one of the top pound-for-pound boxers in the world, has reportedly joined a territorial defense battalion in Ukraine in the midst of the invasion by Russia.
Lomachenko, who had reportedly traveled to Greece when the attack began Thursday, was seen in an image wearing military fatigues. ESPN’s Mike Coppinger reported that the two-time Olympic gold medalist boxer recently returned to his home near Odessa to be with his family.
Michael Benson @MichaelBensonn
Vasyl Lomachenko has joined the Belgorod-Dnestrovsky Territorial Defense Battalion in Ukraine to defend his country from Vladimir Putin’s invasion by Russia… pic.twitter.com/LWFDcUhFAB
Lomachenko isn’t the only boxer to take up arms in defense of Ukraine. Hall of Famer Vitali Klitschko, who is now the mayor of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, recently announced that he would assist in defending his country. His brother, fellow Hall of Famer and former heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko also enlisted in the country’s reserve army earlier this month.
“I don’t have another choice,” Vitali said to Good Morning Britain. “I have to do that.”
Good Morning Britain @GMB
‘I don’t have another choice. I have to do that. ‘
The Mayor of Kyiv @Vitaliy_Klychko “https://twitter.com/richardgaisford?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@richardgaisford that it is ‘already a bloody war’ and he is prepared to fight for his country. pic.twitter.com/KvoGP5f92C
Nikolay Kovalchuk, the president of WBC Ukraine, expressed how proud he was of the boxers who have chosen to defend the country.
“We are so proud of our boxers, our real champions in boxing and champions in this war,” Kovalchuk said, per Coppinger. “We are proud to be Ukrainians.”
Earlier in February, Lomachenko agreed to a fight against undisputed lightweight champion George Kambosos in Australia on June 5. A former three-division champ, Lomachenko (16-2, 11 KOs) is coming off back-to-back victories since losing to Teofimo Lopez by decision in October 2020. The 34-year-old also underwent surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff.