Oleksandr Usyk made his professional football debut for FC Polissya Zhytomyr in a 2-1 victory over NK Veres Rivne on Friday.
The WBA, IBF and WBO world heavyweight boxing champion replaced Ukraine’s second division team in their winter holiday friendly in Turkey.
Usyk started the game on the bench but was clearly the center of attention as broadcast cameras caught him often during the first half.
In the 76th minute, his time has come.
Usyk boxed on the touchline to warm up and then entered the fray as a striker wearing the number 17.
Within ten seconds of play resuming after coming on, the heavyweight champion missed a fantastic scoring opportunity.
A teammate cut him off on the right side of the penalty area, but Usyk could only swing one leg at him, missing the ball completely.
Other than that, the 35-year-old put in a solid performance.
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In the 84th minute, Usyk successfully headed the ball towards a team-mate and he then played a part in a nice brace two minutes later.
His main highlight, however, came in injury time, as the ball hit him at the edge of the box after an opposing corner and he moved forward on a daring run.
Naturally, none of Veres’ players wanted to tackle him.
He reached the halfway line and played it to a teammate who was then fouled.
At the final whistle, the score was still the same as when Usyk came on – a 2-1 victory for Polissya.
Usyk now looks set to face Anthony Joshua in his next fight, most likely in May.
Talks had been held over a potential deal for him to face Tyson Fury in an undisputed title clash, with Joshua being paid millions to opt out.
However, those negotiations fell apart so it is expected that Usyk vs AJ 2 will come next.
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