‘I got it from a boy called Mickey in Ireland’ – Usyk explains hurley hysteria

Oleksandr Usyk raised eyebrows when he turned up at the final press conference ahead of his eagerly anticipated clash with Derek Chisora with a hurl and sliotar.

Many in the room didn’t know what a hurl was, while Irish fight fans wondered where he got it.

It was assumed the only Irish representation on the massive card, Tommy McCarthy had presented it to the former undisputed cruiserweight world champion.

However, the story behind the GAA apparel is that bit better.

A teen boxer from Belfast sent a letter and a gift the Ukrainian gleefully accepted into the Matchroom bubble.

Holy Trinity boxer Michael Marlow, a massive Usyk fan, was the man behind the hurl. A thankful Usyk took time to sign Marlow’s singlet upon receiving the gift and sent the 13-year-old a thank you video.

The move should win Usyk some Irish fans ahead of Saturday’s clash, although the fact Dubliner Thomas Carty sparred Chisora in the build up to the heavyweight clash might see some on these shores supporting him.

Most importantly the card plays host to a massive fight for Tommy McCarthy, ‘The Mack Attack’ fights Belgian Bilal Laggoune for the vacant cruiserweight European title on the pay per view card.

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com