Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky led the praise for Oleksandr Usyk after his historic victory over British fighter Tyson Fury in Riyadh, making Usyk the first undisputed world heavyweight boxing champion in 25 years.

The 37-year-old, who briefly served in the Ukrainian army following the Russian invasion in February 2022, described his points victory over Fury as a "great moment" for himself, his family, and his country. The fight took place in the early hours of Sunday morning.

"The Ukrainians hit hard! And in the end, all our opponents will be defeated," Zelensky said on Telegram shortly after the match.

Usyk's achievement in becoming the first heavyweight to hold four belts simultaneously demonstrates that "Ukrainian endurance and strength give birth to Ukrainian victory," the president added.

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Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko, a former world heavyweight champion, highlighted Usyk's performance, stating, "He showed the world that Ukrainians are capable of defeating a strong opponent in a difficult fight. This victory is very important for Ukraine today."

Volodymyr Klitschko, Vitali's younger brother and another ex-heavyweight champion, was ringside in Saudi Arabia.

He echoed his brother's sentiments, saying, "Can you imagine how much pressure this man had these past weeks? Losing was not an option. Oleksandr Usyk showed he is the best fighter in modern history. I’m very proud of Oleksandr Usyk and I'm very proud to be Ukrainian."

Usyk Beats Fury to Become Undisputed World Heavyweight Boxing Champion
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Usyk Beats Fury to Become Undisputed World Heavyweight Boxing Champion

President Zelensky, leading the war effort against Russia's full-scale invasion for over two years, posted on social media: “Ukrainians hit hard! And in the end, all our opponents will be defeated.”

Born in Simferopol, Crimea, Usyk faced criticism from Ukrainians in 2014 for his ambiguous stance on Russia's annexation of the peninsula. However, since the 2022 invasion, he has received full support from the Ukrainian armed forces.

"Ukraine is once again showing that it is a strong nation capable of fighting for its identity, its language, its culture, and its traditions," said Mykola Oleshchuk, Commander of the Ukrainian Air Force.

Television presenter and actor Sergiy Prytula saw Usyk's win as a national boost, posting, "He won today. And with him, Ukraine has won. And when Ukraine wins, he and all of us will win with her!"

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Jamala, the Ukrainian winner of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, simply stated, "Thanks to you! We are proud."

By securing the WBC title from Fury, in addition to his WBA, WBO, and IBF titles, Oleksandr Usyk becomes the first boxer to be the undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis in 1999.

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