Oleksandr Usyk says he is determined to do his fellow Ukrainians proud by beating challenger Anthony Joshua on Saturday in a heavyweight boxing match.
Usyk outclassed Joshua at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September to win the IBF, WBA and WBO world heavyweight titles.
The 35-year-old will defend his belts for the first time in a rematch with the Briton in Saudi Arabia this weekend.
Usyk has been involved in a battle that is much bigger than any boxing fight since he became world champion, returning to his homeland to defend his country following Russia’s invasion.
He has set up the Usyk Foundation to support humanitarian aid for Ukrainians in need of medical care, shelter and food.
Usyk has also ensured his second bout with Joshua in Jeddah will be free to watch for the people of his war-torn country and he hopes to put on a show for his compatriots.
“I want to help my people and my country and Saturday night is going to be a small party for them, maybe a big party,” he told Sky Sports. I will do my best to give the best performance that I can.
“It’s important because the war is taking place and we have to help people. Whether they need food, we supply them with food. Whether they need anything else, we have to help them.
“Because this is something that is happening in our hearts and our assignment is to keep positive and keep other people positive.