World heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk has toldCNN that he does not know when he will fight again.
The Ukrainian has returned home to join his compatriots to join in the fight against Russia’s invasion of his country which began on February 24.
Usyk has taken up arms to join the territorial defence battalion along with long-time friend and former lightweight king Vasyl Lomachenko.
Lomachenko appeared to be the front-runner to face the new unified lightweight champion George Kambosos Jr in Australia this year while Usyk was set to honour a rematch clause against Anthony Joshua.
The 35-year-old from Shypyntsi defeated the Brit at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September to win the WBA, IBF and WBO titles in one of the performances of the year. However, with the conflict in Ukraine showing no signs of easing up Usyk’s comments have put the proposed scheduling of the rematch in May in doubt.
“I really don’t know when I’m going to be stepping back in the ring,” said Usyk through his manager and translator Egis Klimas.
Described by CNN as ‘exhausted and emotional’ in the interview Usyk also said, “My country and my honour are more important to me than a championship belt.”