OLEKSANDR Usyk’s much-anticipated rematch against Anthony Joshua will be available to watch for free on August 20 to fans living in war-torn Ukraine.
That’s according to The Cat’s promoter, Alex Krassyuk, who said Saudi Arabian organisers gifted the TV rights to Usyk’s home country as a gesture of goodwill. Ukraine remains under attack from Russia, who began a military assault against their neighbours on February 24.
“He intended to buy, but received it [free] for Ukraine,” Krassyuk told talkSPORT. “He makes it free to watch via Megogo [streaming service], his YouTube channel and via state public TV ‘Suspilne’.”
Millions have fled Ukraine in response to Russia’s invasion, with many others displaced and relying on charity to survive. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) recently reported 5,327 civilians have been killed in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion began, though the exact number could be higher.
Usyk swiftly returned to Ukraine in early March and joined a defence battalion, which cast doubt as to whether his rematch with Joshua would go ahead. He left the war effort later that month to resume his preparations for ‘The Rage on the Red Sea’.
The two titans face off for a second time at King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah, with Joshua hoping to avenge his surprise defeat to former cruiserweight champion Usyk last September. Sky Sports customers will be charged £26.95 for the pay-per-view privilege, meanwhile.
Usyk recently returned from Ukraine having helped out in the war effort against the Russian invasion, and expressed he wanted to retain his belts for his fans back home – especially those he had worked with during his time there.
“So now I want to bring some kind of joy to those soldiers and to those staying in the front line by doing what I do.” Usyk has also said he intends to return to Kyiv immediately after his second showdown with Joshua, saying: “I must be in my country.”