As his big fight against WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua approaches, Oleksandr Usyk's manager Sergey Lapin has revealed that the Ukrainian challenger's compatriots Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko have been conspicuous by their absence from Usyk's training camp so far.
Both Klitschko brothers reigned as heavyweight champion in their heyday, and Wladimir became the second of the siblings to step away from the ring after he was stopped in the 11th round of a thrilling war with current titleholder 'AJ'.
Lapin told My Betting Sites that while many would expect the retired legends and Ukrainian public figures to make known their support for Usyk's Sept. 25 challenge of Joshua, they have yet to hear from them at all.
"Oleksandr has worked incredibly hard in training and will prove against Joshua that he is the best around, helped by the addition of trainer Anatoly Lomachenko who has brought his game to the next level," said Lapin.
"As for the advice from the Klitschko brothers, our fellow Ukrainians, we haven’t seen them in our training camp even once. Oleksandr has his own story, and he has been writing it for a long time, from the moment he came to the gym at a young age. He does not need anyone else."
Though Usyk's two fights so far at heavyweight haven't been champagne performances, Lapin remains confident that we will see the dominant Usyk who unified the cruiserweight division at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
He continued: "More than two years have passed since Oleksandr's transition to heavyweight – and today he is in optimal physical and mental condition to face Anthony Joshua. In our world, everyone always needs to prove themselves, which is what Usyk does time and again when everybody doubts him.
"And we, his team and loved ones, believe in his victory for two reasons – one, because he has one of the best techniques in boxing and two, because he uses his legs to the maximum which makes him so tough to face. But of course, AJ is a great boxer, he has passed a difficult path in his career. So we wish him good preparation and are waiting for him in the ring."