Oleksandr Gvozdyk made his case to called the world’s number one Light-Heavyweight when he took the WBC crown from Adonis Stevenson in December.
He is back in front of the BoxNation cameras on Saturday when he makes the first defence of his belt against Doudou Ngumbu.
If he triumphs in Philadelphia, unifications against Russian trio Sergey Kovalev (WBO), Dmitry Bivol (WBA) or Artur Beterbiev (IBF) would be among the best fights in boxing.
Here is our fact-file on the 175lb division’s Lineal Champion:
- Age: 31 (15.04.87)
- Residence: Oxnard, California
- Birthplace: Kharkov, Ukraine
- Record: 16-0, 13 KOs
- Height: 6’2”
- Reach: 75½″
1) Gvozdyk won around 225 of his 255 amateur contests and captured a Light-Heavyweight bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympics, losing in the semi-final against Kazakh Adilbek Niyazymbetov on count-back after their contest ended 13-13.
2) His best friend in boxing is Vasyl Lomachenko. They both train in California and even back in Ukraine together when they visit.
3) He has been dropped twice in his career as an amateur and professional. German Gottlieb Weiss floored him in the 2010 European Championships. In 2016 he was over from a right hook landed by Tommy Karpency. Both times he recovered to knockout his opponent.
4) Oleksandr also gained experience in the World Series of Boxing and won all nine contests he had in the competition before turning professional.
5) He started boxing aged 10, and recalls: “My classmate in the school, he start boxing first and then he invited me. He was my friend, he said, 'Okay, let's go. I just enrolled in the boxing school. Let's go together. It will be fun.' I didn't follow some dream to be Olympic Champion or World Champion. I just go to boxing school to be stronger on the street – to be able to protect myself. And then, after a couple of years, I had dreams to be Champion.”
6) He is trained by American TV mouthpiece Teddy Atlas who gained notoriety when he helped Cus D’Amato train a teenage Mike Tyson. He left the camp after pulling a gun on Tyson, accusing the boxer of touching a female relative.
7) He is married with three children - two sons and a daughter.