UKRAINE are being backed by some of their greatest ever boxers on the front line in the fight against Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
Russia’s invasion has united the crisis nation unite and seen surrounding countries rally round in support.
Russia has been outcast by the sporting world,.
And boxing organisations have joined in by refusing to sanction bouts in the country.
And some of Ukriane’s greatest athletes have now taken up arms to defend their country aganst the growing threat from their neighbours
Here, SunSport takes a look at the hero world champions bravely signing up to serve their country.
READ MORE SPORT
The former heavyweight ruler, 50, last fought in 2012 and retired a year later to focus on politics.
Vitali, a father-of-three who married wife Natalie in 1996, has been the mayor of Kyiv since 2014.
And as a result, it left the ex-boxer ‘no choice’ but to take up arms.
He told ITV: “I don’t have another choice. I have to do that. I will be fighting.”
Vitali Klitschko has been the mayor of Kyiv since 2014
FREE BETS AND SIGN UP DEALS – BEST NEW CUSTOMER OFFERS
Wladimir, 45, reigned as heavyweight king for nine years before losing his crown to Tyson Fury, 33, in a 2015 upset.
He would return two years later in defeat to Anthony Joshua, 32, and announce his retirement soon after, snubbing a Las Vegas rematch.
Wladimir, dad to seven-year-old Kaya Evdokia, has refused a boxing comeback in recent years and also pledged to fight on the frontline.
He enlisted in Ukraine’s reserve army in early February and has publicly pleaded with Russia to end the war.
Wladimir Klitschko enlisted in Ukraine’s reserve army
The masterful southpaw, 34, is one of the greatest amateur boxers of all time, leaving the unpaid ranks with a record of 396-1 and two Olympic gold medals.
It saw him fast tracked as a professional like never seen before and Lomachenko, who is married to Olena with two kids, became a three-division champ in just 12 fights.
He was beaten by Teofimo Lopez in 2020, but has won twice since and is now targeting a fight with new unified lightweight champ George Kambosos Jr.
However, he has now decided to keep fighting on the Ukrainian front line after turning down a world title bout to face George Kambosos Jr.
The two-time Olympic gold medallist is refusing to leave the country as he has elected to keep fighting on the battlefield instead of in the boxing ring.
Vasiliy Lomachenko joined the Belgorod-Dniester Terror Defence Battalion
Usyk, who won gold at the 2012 Olympics, is a former undisputed cruiserweight king and current three-belt heavyweight owner.
He beat Joshua in September and they are contracted to an immediate rematch this year – although it remains in doubt.
Usyk, 35, had been in London last month to hold talks with AJ’s promoter to decide a date and venue for their rematch.
But now, the fearless unbeaten father-of three, who married partner Yekaterina in 2009, has enlisted with the Kyiv Territorial Defence.
Oleksandr Usyk enlisted with the Kyiv Territorial Defence