Usyk’s training regime so extreme he fainted under water holding his breath
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Oleksandr Usyk's training regime is so extreme that he once fainted under water whilst attempting to hold his breath for four minutes.
The Ukrainian boxer is currently the WBA, IBF, WBO and The Ring heavyweight champion after successfully defending his belts with a split decision victory over Anthony Joshua in their rematch last month. Ahead of that fight, his manager Egis Klimas, revealed that he once saw Usyk swim 10km non-stop and that he can hold his breath for four minutes and 40 seconds.
Both those feats were born out of the unique training methods Usyk used during his amateur career.
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Usyk was part of a generation of Ukrainian fighters who used extreme methods when training with the national set-up, with the unique exercises helping him win Olympic, world and European gold medals when representing his nation before turning professional.
However, he has now revealed that he once fainted during one training session, though and had to be saved by his trainers. Speaking on his USYK17 YouTube channel, he explained: “All these challenges such as 10km of swimming for example.
“You’re swimming and suddenly you feel such a pain in your knee and you think you can’t go, you just can’t continue. A muscle’s so tense and the pain’s just unbearable. The pain is in your shoulder, your knee or even the tips of your moustache.
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“And you’re thinking, ‘Okay, I’m done, it’s better to stop and try next time.’ This means that you can’t stop – when you start to think like that it is the signal to continue.
“You can’t give up. If you give up now, that’s what you’ll do when you’re fighting. It’s a breaking point which you’ll definitely reach during your fight. Every athlete knows what it is. No one can do anything ‘next time’, so you just don’t stop.
“You know I’m a bit crazy and so my coaches are carefully watching me. If I faint, they’ll rescue me. Once, holding my breath underwater, I fainted for a moment and immediately was taken from the pool.”
Usyk's next title defence is yet to be confirmed, although he did hit out at WBC title holder Tyson Fury earlier this month over his rumoured fight with Joshua in December.
The bout, which is understood to be close to being officially announced, will delay a potential unification fight between Usyk and Fury for the heavyweight world titles.
Fury had been keen to unify the division against Usyk after his rematch victory against Joshua, even calling him out on social media, but the 35-year-old stated he did not want to return to the ring until 2023. As a result, Fury has turned his attention to his fellow Brit.
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- Oleksandr Usyk
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