Boxing champions, Oleksandr Usyk and Vasyl Lomachenko have both been offered the opportunity to leave the war in Ukraine and train for their potential next fights.
According to promoter, Bob Arum, Usyk who has joined the Kyiv Territorial Defense and Lomachenko who has joined the Belgorod-Dnestrovsky Territorial Defense, have been given permission by the Ukraine Ministry of Culture, to leave the front lines and go defend their world titles.
Usyk is contractually obligated to a rematch with Anthony Joshua, whom he beat in 2021, next, while Loma is being lined up for a shot at new lightweight champion George Kambosos Jr.
However, when Russia invaded Ukraine, both men flew home and joined their local territorial defence forces.
It was expected that Usyk and Loma would therefore be out of action for the time being.
As a result, there has been talk of AJ taking an interim fight against a different opponent.
But it appears the Ukrainian boxers will have the chance to decide for themselves whether they want to stay and defend their country, or leave to represent Ukraine on the world stage.
When asked for an update on Loma vs Kambosos, Arum told Fanatics View: “The Ukrainian government, which is tremendous, are co-operating with us as far as Lomachenko and also Usyk.
“They realise there’s tremendous publicity value in having them come out, train and participate in title fights.
“Hopefully the war will then be over, but if it isn’t, [they will then] go back into defence mode.
“So I don’t know where that stands with either guys, whether they’re going to accept the offer of the cultural minister of Ukraine to leave and to train for fights.”
Speaking on Instagram Live last week, Joshua said: “When’s the next fight? It’s actually happening soon.
“I don’t wanna say too much, but yeah, the fight’s happening soon.
“I pray it’s the rematch [vs Oleksandr Usyk]. I won’t fight anybody outside of the top ten.”