Accessibility links

Breaking News

Joyous Ukrainian Crowd Greets Boxer Usyk In Kyiv After Victory In Moscow

Boxer Oleksandr Usyk was greeted at Kyiv's Boryspil airport on July 23 by a choir.

KYIV -- Elated Ukrainians greeted boxer Oleksandr Usyk at the airport in Kyiv as he returned home after defeating Russia’s Murat Gassiev in Moscow to unify the cruiserweight division’s four titles.

A choir sang a Ukrainian folk song and the crowd chanted, "Glory to Ukraine!" when Usyk appeared in the arrivals section of Boryspil airport.

Usyk expressed his gratitude to all who came to greet him and said he had devoted his victory "to our Fathers."

Asked about his future plans, Usyk said that he hopes to rest for a while.

"I haven't seen my children for a month and a half. I'm dreaming about taking a shower and just...having a rest," Usyk said.

Usyk displays his four cruiserweight belts after the July 21 fight.
Usyk displays his four cruiserweight belts after the July 21 fight.

Despite facing an away crowd in Moscow amid political tension on July 21, Usyk controlled the fight with his jab to add Gassiev's WBA and IBF titles to his own WBC and WBO belts.

Usyk, a former Olympic gold medalist, holds all four major titles after just 15 professional fights, all of which he won.

Usyk was born in Crimea. He has said he was forced to leave the peninsula after Russia seized it from Ukraine in 2014.

Russia has also aided separatists in eastern Ukraine in a war that has killed more than 10,300 people since 2014.

  • 16x9 Image

    RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service

    RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service has seen its audience grow significantly since Russia's full-scale invasion in February 2022 and is among the most cited media outlets in the country. Its bold, in-depth reporting from the front lines has won many accolades and awards. Its comprehensive coverage also includes award-winning reporting by the Donbas.Realities and Crimea.Realities projects and the Schemes investigative unit.