On Saturday night in Jeddah, Oleksandr Usyk won a rematch with Anthony Joshua by split decision, retaining the WBO, IBO, WBA, and IBF heavyweight titles.
Usyk said he was not offended by Joshua's reaction after their rematch, when he appeared to throw the two belts out of the ring, apparently prevented by Usyk's team from handing them to him, before Joshua made an impassioned and often rambling speech to the crowd.
"I didn't really think about what he said when he was frustrated, it was normal emotions, it's fine, we just needed to have a little chat," he said.
"The good things he said about me, I accept, but I don't take it to heart because I want to stay humble, I don't want my pride to grow. I don't really believe in praise. Whoever is proud, the Lord will knock him down, and whoever holds back, the Lord will raise him up".
“I have nothing but respect for Anthony Joshua, he was a bit emotional and bullied some of my teammates, but I don't recommend him fighting them with his bare hands because most of them are terrible street fighters. I have 20 wins now, but some of my guys have 25 [losses] by knockout.''
Usyk is due to return to Kyiv after spending time with family in Europe after leaving the country earlier this year. But he predicted a bright future for Ukraine when the war ends.
"The future of my country is for the economy to grow significantly," he said. "All tourists will go to Ukraine because it is rich in history. Many people in the world [will come] because of our athletes, such as Klitschko, Andriy Shevchenko, Loma, and Usyk. Now the whole world knows that Ukraine is defending itself against the second largest army in the world. And we are strong, and we give a lot to them. I want to say that some people in the world underestimate what is happening in Ukraine, please open your eyes and see what is happening. Ukrainians never give up, we always go to the end, we always win in the end, we just need a little more time."
His last words were addressed to Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
"Everything he does is to show he's strong, but he's not," Usyk said. “If he was really strong, he wouldn't have to show it. In fact, he is very weak."