Oleksandr Usyk had to be rescued by coaches after FAINTING while attempting to hold his breath underwater during extreme training sessions with the Ukrainian national boxing team as an amateur
- Oleksandr Usyk credits his fantastic endurance to his swimming training
- However, the Ukrainian’s attempts to improve his cardio nearly ended in disaster
- In one incident Usyk had to be rescued by teammates after fainting underwater
Unified world heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk once fainted during an extreme training exercise during his time as an amateur fighter.
Ahead of his triumph in the rematch with Anthony Joshua last month, Usyk’s trainer, Egis Klimas, credited the former undisputed cruiserweight king’s incredible in-ring cardio to his many hours spent in the swimming pool, even boasting that the Ukranian can hold his breath for four minutes and forty seconds under water.
Using the pool as a training tool is not new to Usyk, however. The 35-year-old regularly utilized swimming training as a method to help develop his endurance during his time with the Ukrainian national amateur boxing team as a youth.
Oleksandr Usyk detailed a horrifying experience that saw him nearly drown as a youth
The Ukrainian fainted 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 in the pool to rescue him after he had fainted underwater.
‘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 is just unbearable. The pain is in your shoulder, your knee or even the tips of your mustache.
‘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.
The 35-year-old Usyk has targeted an undisputed bout with Tyson Fury for next year
‘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.’
After defeating Joshua in August, Usyk had been slated to take on fellow heavyweight title holder Tyson Fury, in a bout that would’ve determined the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis.
However, with talks of a fight between Fury and Joshua intensifying it appears that the Ukrainian may have to wait for his opportunity to make history against the Gypsy King.