Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Sporting ExcitementSporting Excitement


I nearly died as a kid and learned how to fight with a knife.. now I’m the biggest threat to Tyson Fury’s legacy

, I nearly died as a kid and learned how to fight with a knife.. now I’m the biggest threat to Tyson Fury’s legacy

OLEKSANDR USYK has revealed how he nearly died as a child and was taught to fight with a knife.

The 36-year-old currently holds the WBA (Super), IBF, and WBO heavyweight world titles after defeating Anthony Joshua for a second time in August.

Oleksandr Usyk says he nearly died as a child due to pneumonia

He revealed all about his childhood to Gary Neville on The Overlap

He is now closing in on a mega unification bout with Tyson Fury, the WBC champion, with talks still ongoing.

The Gypsy King, 34, has been in discussions with the Ukrainian’s team ever since he successfully defended his WBC crown against Derek Chisora in December.

A clash in Saudi Arabia appeared to be the most likely location for the bout – which would see all four world heavyweight titles on the line.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

But a failure to secure a site fee in the Middle East has left them looking at Wembley on April 29 instead.

That showdown would cap an incredible journey for Usyk, who only turned pro aged 26 after a grounding that included 350 amateur fights.

In 2012, he won a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics – a year after he achieved the same feat at the World Championships.

However, it wasn’t always so easy for the man nicknamed The Cat, who was born in Ukraine’s Crimea region in the city of Simferopol in 1987, and immediately was thrust into a life where his only release was sport.

Former Manchester United footy star Gary Neville recently travelled to meet up with the 20-0 boxer for his latest episode of The Overlap, and he received a huge insight into the icon’s childhood.


Usyk said: “When I was in year two at school, I got really ill – I had serious pneumonia. It was very bad. The doctor even told my mum that I might not survive. 

“That illness lasted for a year. I’d spend two months in hospital, then two weeks at home, or a month in hospital then go home for a week.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

“So, I went back and forth. So, from then, my grandma always took me to church and I found it interesting, I liked watching the service.

“I also liked the smell of frankincense. I would study the place carefully. I could pray alone.

“My family weren’t particularly religious, they didn’t really go to church.”

Usyk continued: “I also started doing press-ups, squats and running. That’s how my sporting journey started.

“There wasn’t much to do in the village and the only thing we had was football.

“So, I played football, rode horses, swam and improved my endurance by pouring cold water over me.

“But when we returned to Crimea in 2002 I started playing for a professional football team.

“I played with them until my father passed away, God rest his soul. He was the one who always motivated and forced me to train and study.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

, I nearly died as a kid and learned how to fight with a knife.. now I’m the biggest threat to Tyson Fury’s legacy
Tyson Fury and the Ukrainian are trying to set-up a unification fight

“Everything I have now is down to him. He put so much into me, taught me about priorities in life, which are family, sport and education.

“He was a military man, by the way. My mum hated it when he taught me how to fight with a knife. She’d shout ‘Sasha, he’ll grow up to be a criminal, what are you doing?’

“He’d be like ‘Get away, if he knows how to do it, he will never use it on others but when he needs to protect someone, that’s when he’ll use it.’”

Now Usyk will be trying to cut down Fury’s unbeaten record if the two do eventually agree terms for the huge unification bout.

He said: “I just need this fight and that’s it. I think he needs it, too. 

“This fight is very important for both of us because all four belts haven’t been held by one person for 30 years in the heavyweight division. So, both of us need this fight.

“This will be like any other fight. It’s just a big man who has never lost before against a man who has the WBC belt.

“Of course, it’s possible to get carried away but actually, this is a normal fight for the right to win all belts.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

“If a person is bigger than me, it doesn’t mean that they are stronger. If they have longer arms, it doesn’t mean that it will be an advantage.

“I’ve been boxing since I was 15-years-old. During this time I have heard many opinions from people that I know well or from people that I’ve met just once.

, I nearly died as a kid and learned how to fight with a knife.. now I’m the biggest threat to Tyson Fury’s legacy

“They kept telling me that I shouldn’t be boxing, they told me that I wouldn’t become an Olympic champion or a world champion and that I shouldn’t have switched to the heavyweight division. 

“But these were opinions from people who couldn’t do it themselves. Personally, I keep praying and moving forward. 

“I don’t worry about whether I will reach my destination. It’s like a samurai – he doesn’t have an aim, but he has his path, I have my path too.

“It started from birth and it will take me to wherever God decides. Only God knows how long I’m supposed to live. I don’t think about it.

“I’m trying to live in the best possible way. I try not to harm anyone and help others whenever possible.”

With his country still in the middle of a war with invading Russia, Usyk added: “I’m not boxing for the belt now. I’m boxing for everyone who is defending our country right now and in the memory of those warriors who are no longer with us.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

“Also, for all those who want to be free and who stood for their country against those who came to conquer us.”

Frequently Asked Questions

How to throw the jab

Here’s a step-by, easy guide on how to throw a jab.

  1. Step forward with both feet.
  2. Arrest your arm high above your shoulder.
  3. Bring your fist down towards your target.
  4. After hitting your target, raise your arm upwards.
  5. Continue with steps 1 through 4.

Can you learn to box?

Yes, it is possible to learn how to box. You just need to find a boxing gym near you and join a class. Although most gyms offer free classes to their members, it is possible to search Google for other local boxing clubs.

Equipment such as gloves, mouthpieces, headgear and sparring partners are also required. Once you’ve got all of that, you can begin practicing your punches and kicks.

How long does it take you to learn boxing

Learning boxing takes around 3 months. This includes learning how to do footwork, stand, and balance. It’s important to remember that boxing is not only about throwing punches. It is important to know how to dodge and block attacks.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

What are some of the benefits of boxing

There are many benefits to boxing. For one, boxing can help build strong bones and muscles. Boxing improves coordination and reflexes. It also strengthens the heart and lungs. Boxing doesn’t need any special equipment. You can use anything you have lying around the house.

What is the best way to learn boxing without fighting?

Training boxing requires fighting. To improve your boxing skills, you must work hard. But if you do, you’ll find that you can improve your boxing technique, speed, endurance, strength, and stamina.

A good fight will help you improve your boxing technique. It is important to observe their movements, their defenses, and how well they use punches. Then, copy their tactics.

Next, you’ll have to spar against another opponent boxer. This is where your ability to improve your boxing technique will be revealed. You will also be able to see how fast you punch, how strong your punches are, and how well it blocks incoming punches when sparring.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Finally, practice your skills by performing drills. You can improve your boxing skills with practice, so be patient.


  • This article received 39 testimonials and 89% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. (
  • It is just like normal sparring with a partner, but you want to throw punches at 75% of your normal speed. (

External Links

How To

How do you set up a Boxing Gym within your House?

A common question that people ask is how to set up a gym for boxing. People often ask what amount they should spend on equipment, what size space is needed, how many people do they need, etc. The cost of starting a business can be affected by many factors. These factors include the location, type, number of employees and marketing budget. Most people don’t realize the importance to have good equipment. If you don’t have any equipment then you cannot get started. Here are some helpful tips if you want to open a boxing studio in your own home.

  1. You will need somewhere to train. It could be a garage, basement or spare room. Even the living room will work. Only one thing is required: there must be enough room to install the equipment.
  2. A punching bag is essential. This is essential because it will make it easier to practice punches. It can be anything from a cheap plastic bag to a heavy leather bag. It must be big enough for you to carry it comfortably. You will also want it to last for many years.
  3. A mat is necessary. Matting is used to protect floors and walls when practicing kicks. It is made mostly of foam rubber. These can be purchased online or in-store.
  4. A bench is necessary. The bench can be used to support the body during pushups. They can be ordered online or in local stores. Be sure to select the right size.
  5. A speedbag is necessary. Speedbags can be used to improve hand movement speed. They can be purchased online or in stores. It is important to ensure that you purchase a product of high quality and lasting value.
  6. A headgear is essential. Headgear is used to protect your head during sparring sessions. You can buy it from either online shops or offline stores. It is important to choose the right size and protection for your face.
  7. Gloves will be necessary. Gloves protect your hands during sparring sessions. You can purchase them online or in-store. Pick the pair that suits you best.
  8. You will need a mouthpiece. Mouthpieces are used to protect your teeth during sparring sessions. These mouthpieces can be bought online or in stores. Make sure you choose the pair that fits your style and meets your needs.
  9. You need a ring. Rings can be used to simulate real fights. These rings can either be purchased in an offline store or online. To ensure you aren’t hurt during sparring sessions, make sure it has padding on both ends.
  10. Towels are essential. To wipe off sweat after any workout, you will need to use towels. You can find them at your local sporting goods shop or online. You should ensure that they are absorbent and soft.




BOXING fans are crediting Ryan Garcia's fiancee, porn star Savannah Bond, as the secret behind his impressive win over Devin Haney. Ryan Garcia, 25,...

Premier League

Gary Neville Calls for Resignation Gary Neville has expressed his strong opinion that Mark Clattenburg should step down from his position at Nottingham Forest...

Premier League

Moyes Points Finger at Players West Ham manager David Moyes expressed his disappointment and embarrassment following a 5-2 loss to Crystal Palace, labeling his...


Return to the Ring Hughie Fury, cousin of Tyson Fury, has made a triumphant return to boxing after nearly three years away from the...

Premier League

Disgusting Behavior Antony faced heavy criticism after allegedly taunting Coventry fans following Manchester United's win over the Sky Blues. Penalty Shootout Drama Manchester United...


Blonde Bombshell's Risque Instagram Post Apollonia Llewellyn recently pushed the boundaries on Instagram with her latest post, risking a ban from the social media...