OLEKSANDR USYK will gift his Anthony Joshua rematch to his war-ravaged Ukraine compatriots on TV for FREE and still donate around £1million to his foundation from the broadcast profits.
The 35-year-old hero spent time on the frontline after his nation’s heartbreaking invasion from Russia and had to be convinced to leave his ravaged home to take the August 20 rerun.
The Jeddah defence of the WBA, IBF and WBO belts he snatched off of AJ in September will cost UK fans a record £26.95 on Sky Sports Box Office.
But Usyk, whose team retained control of the TV rights for Ukraine, has insisted on broadcasting the Rage on the Red Sea free of charge, in an effort to raise the spirit of his proud nation.
SunSport understands the southpaw champ has ensured the fight will be available across Ukraine on a streaming app, his own YouTube channel and local TV and radio channels.
The devout father-of-three could have banked millions by selling the Saudi showdown to a broadcaster but instead he is going to use the free broadcast to raise MORE money for his charity.
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Dozens of companies are expected to come forward to sponsor the broadcast stream and, in exchange for their logo appearing on the night-long show, they will make a sizeable donation to the cause.
The MEGOGO app will also carry a QR code throughout the entire broadcast that viewers will be able to connect with and make a direct personal donation.
A source inside Team Usyk explained to SunSport: “It was Usyk’s desire to make some kind of present for Ukrainian fans, in these hard times and to make this fight available for everyone.
“We are planning to collect over $1million in donations which the Usyk Foundation will use to help Ukraine.”
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After visiting London at the end of June for the UK leg of the press conference, Usyk gave an emotional account of the harrowing months he and his people had faced.
“I didn’t want to leave the country," he said. "I want to live there, still. Straight after the fight I will go back to Ukraine.
“I really didn’t want to leave my country or my city.
“But I went to a hospital where soldiers were wounded and getting rehabilitation from the war and they were telling me, asking me to go and fight for my country and for my pride.
“They told me if I go and fight there I am even going to help our country more than if I stayed and fought in the war.
“It took me only one day of the war to understand completely everything I have, everything I have achieved, all my belts, all my titles, I can lose it in just one second.
“Russian soldiers went into a house of mine, broke a fence and all sorts of different things. They made living spaces and stayed there for a while.
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“Every day I was there I would pray to the Lord, please don’t let anybody try to kill me, don’t let anybody shoot me and please don’t make me have to shoot any other person.
“But if I had felt any danger, or that me or my family’s lives were in jeopardy, I would have to.”
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