Vasily Lomachenko expressed his intention to abandon the world championship with George Kambosos of Australia to fight in Ukraine with an M16 rifle, saying: “I took the guns and I was in the position of security … stay as a dog our country”.
Seven months after being involved in Ukraine’s war against the Russian occupation, Lomachenko now returns to the ring – and revives his quest for world domination – against undefeated American Jamaine Ortiz this Sunday, October 30.
The Madison Square fight was the former three-weight world champion’s first appearance since pulling out of the Kambosos fight to defend his country.
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In March, the former Olympic gold medalist was photographed outside his hometown wearing military fatigues and carrying an M16 assault rifle, as he followed former heavyweight champion Vitali and Wladimir Klitchsko in the fight against Russia.
With Lomachenko out, it was American Devin Haney who finally stepped up and beat Kambosos twice to claim, and then defend, the lightweight title.
However, speaking in a documentary titled ‘Battle Lines’, Lomachenko said that his goal now is to win this Sunday, and he asked for a fight with Haney, while also revealing his decision to suppress the Kambosos protest to take up arms.
“On February 24, war began in our country,” said Lomachenko.
“And at this time – I cannot leave my country. I can’t let go and take my dream, my dream because I have the responsibility of my family, my country.
“When (war) happens, it cancels all plans. Every plan of the people of our country has been canceled.”
He later continued on the Russian invasion: “The first day, you couldn’t believe it.
“But if there will be a second, on the third day, the truth will come to you and you will understand that the war is real and it is a problem for people.
“(And) because I have a responsibility to my family, to my country, to the people who live around me, I stayed.
“I enter the army, take army uniforms and guns and stand as security.
“Stay as the security of our country.”
Lomachenko also stated that he is motivated especially to fight the youth of his country.
“It’s a big push for our kids,” he said.
“They are young and do not understand what happened. But they see these bombs…
“It is not a good thing to sit in the basement for two hours and not understand when you can go out, when you can come back to your house.
“How can I find words to express this feeling?
“You can’t understand unless you’re in that situation. A lot of people are dying. A lot of children are dying.
“(There is) no proper word to describe this fear.”
However, when the fight entered the ninth month, and the expectations of his people were increasing, Lomachenko decided to return to the boxing arena, satisfied that he would not only focus on the situation, but also become an inspiration to the people of Ukraine.
“Now I have a lot of confidence,” he said. “Greater than before.
“I believe that if God gives me this opportunity, I will accept it.”