Heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk is helping launch a new NFT collection to raise money for Ukraine — and blockchain networks are being urged to get involved.
Current WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO Heavyweight Champion of the World, Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk is teaming up with UK-based sports NFT platform Blockasset to launch an exclusive digital artwork collection in a bid to raise $2,000,000 for the Usyk Foundation, supporting vital humanitarian work for his homeland.
A new nonfungible token collection is aiming to give a substantial contribution to a charitable foundation supporting Ukrainians following Russia's invasion.
The sale comes ahead of Usyk's world title defence against Anthony Joshua on August 20.
There are 2,000 one-of-one NFTs of unique artwork, and they feature quirky designs by the world-renowned artist Dosbrak — chronicling some of the key moments from the boxer's undefeated professional career.
When the invasion began, Usyk had joined Kyiv's territorial defence battalion but was later given permission to leave the country so he could prepare for his fight against Joshua.
Speaking about the new collection, Usyk said:
"I appreciate the opportunity to link up with Blockasset, who I regard as the heavyweight champions of sports NFTs. I'm a big fan of Dosbrak's art, and it has been a pleasure to collaborate on this initiative, which I am sure will raise a considerable amount for our foundation."
Speaking exclusively to Blockasset, Usyk touched on his motivation and preparation ahead of his upcoming world title defence,
“Compared to war, boxing is child’s play. War is a terrible thing, which I would not wish on my worst enemy. My thoughts, as much as possible, are to be prepared well for the Joshua fight and to be able to glorify again my god Jesus Christ and my native land.”
A number of rare physical items, such as signed original Dosbrak prints and autographed Oleksandr Usyk gloves will be awarded to holders of the rarest NFTs from the mint.