Oleksandr Usyk and Vasiliy Lomachenko have both been offered the chance to leave Ukraine in order to train for their world title fights, according to Bob Arum.
Reigning IBF, WBO and WBA heavyweight champion Usyk returned to his homeland after the Russian invasion on 24 February where he immediately joined the Kyiv territorial defence forces.
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The 35-year-old is one of a number of Ukrainian sportsmen to take up the fight with pound-for-pound star Lomachenko also joining defence forces in his hometown.
While boxing matters have for now taken a back seat, both men were originally set for huge title fights in the spring and summer. Usyk had been set to take on Anthony Joshua in a rematch having taken the world titles from the Briton in London last September.
Three-weight world champion Lomachenko meanwhile had agreed to take on George Kambosos Jr in Australia in a bid to reclaim the lightweight titles.
Under martial law in Ukraine, men aged between 18 and 60 have been banned from leaving the country – with both Usyk and Lomachenko willingly returning to their homeland to join the fight.
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Legendary boxing figure Arum, who promotes Lomachenko and considers Usyk ‘a close friend’, has now suggested the fighters have been giving permission to leave by the cultural minister of Ukraine.
He says however that neither man has made a final decision as of yet.
Arum said: ‘The Ukrainian government, which has been tremendous with us in terms of Lomachenko and also Usyk, they realise there is tremendous publicity value in having them come out and train and participate in title fights, hopefully the war will then be then over but if it isn’t, then go back into defence mode.
‘I don’t know where that stands with either guy, whether they are going to accept the offer of the cultural minister of Ukraine to leave and to train for fights.’
Arum added: ‘They are all heroes. Everybody in the United States and people around the world are all pulling for the people of the Ukrainians.
‘They demonstrate what a brave people they are. I pray the Klitschko brothers, Usyk and Lomachenko are safe because they are friends of mine.
‘But the sacrifices that the Ukrainian people have made are just enormous. The job they are doing, standing up to this monster for the sake of their country and civilisation is to be commended.’
Photo Credit: Getty