Oleksandr Usyk has named his favourite athlete of all time – and it is perhaps no surprise that the man they call the greatest, Muhammad Ali, stands atop the list.
Interia magazine asked the World Champion his boxing idol. He revealed that he has studied Ali in depth and that the story of the iconic American is one that has inspired him. Usyk also revealed that he an Ali share a birthday – just the 45 years apart.
“I have a favourite athlete, it’s Muhammad Ali. I know a lot about him, I read a lot. I was born on the same day, the same month as him, just a little later. His legend is a great one for me.”
“Even when he was alive, I talked to him. When I listened to it, I found out that [his story] is exactly as I read about it in the books. He said that he owes a lot to his grandmother, that she helped him a lot – exactly as it was in his biography.”
“Athletes, boxers who have conquered the top – each of them is a [role] model, everyone can be exemplified. Learn how to be successful. Absolutely each of them can be a model of hard work.”
Usyk has always regarded winning the Ali trophy as a result of his World Boxing Super Series victory as one of the proudest moments of his career, and these quotes make it clear to see why.
With talks for an undisputed fight with Tyson Fury said to be progressing well, Usyk may get the chance to cement his name as an all time great alongside the likes of Ali next year, should he join Evander Holyfield in being undisputed in two weight divisions.
The fight, which is rumoured to take place in Saudi Arabia, is being targeted for a date in early March should Fury come through his fight with Derek Chisora.