Oleksandr Usyk had to be rescued by trainers after DISMARKING while trying to hold his breath underwater during extreme training sessions with the Ukrainian national boxing team as an amateur.
- Oleksandr Usyk attributes his fantastic endurance to his swimming training
- However, the Ukrainian’s attempts to improve his cardio almost ended in disaster.
- In one incident, Usyk had to be rescued by his teammates after passing out underwater.
Unified world heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk once passed out during an extreme training exercise during his time as an amateur fighter.
Before his triumph in the rematch with Anthony Joshua last month, Usyk’s trainer, Egis Klimas, attributed the former undisputed cruiserweight king’s incredible in-ring cardio to the many hours he spent in the pool, and even bragged that the Ukrainian can hold his breath for four minutes and forty seconds underwater.
However, the use of the pool as a training tool is not new to Usyk. The 35-year-old boxer regularly used swim training as a method to help build his stamina during his time with the Ukrainian national amateur boxing team when he was young.
Oleksandr Usyk detailed a horrific experience that saw him nearly drown as a young man.
The Ukrainian passed out while trying to hold his breath underwater in training
Speaking on his USYK 17 YouTube channel, the Ukrainian recalled a particularly harrowing experience where his teammates had to jump into the pool to rescue him after he passed out underwater.
You’re swimming and suddenly you feel such pain in your knee that you think you can’t go, you just can’t go on. A muscle is very tense and the pain is excruciating. The pain is in your shoulder, your knee, or even the tips of your mustache.
‘And you’re thinking, ‘Okay, I’m done, better stop and try next time.’ This means you can’t stop: when you start thinking like that, it’s 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 is a breaking point that you will definitely reach during your fight. Every athlete knows what it is. Nobody can do anything ‘next time’, so just don’t stop.
Usyk, 35, is targeting an undisputed fight with Tyson Fury next year.
‘You know I’m a bit crazy and my coaches are watching me carefully. If I pass out, they’ll rescue me. Once, holding my breath underwater, I passed out for a moment and was immediately pulled out of the pool.
After defeating Joshua in August, Usyk was scheduled to take on fellow heavyweight title holder Tyson Fury, in a fight that would have determined the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis.
However, with talk of a fight between Fury and Joshua intensifying, it looks like the Ukrainian will have to wait for his chance to make history against the Gypsy King.