Oleksandr Gvozdyk is on a mission to wipe out the Light-Heavyweight division, and that means believing Doudou Ngumbu is the best fighter he has ever faced.
The Ukrainian defends his WBC Light-Heavyweight Title against the French underdog in Philadelphia on Saturday night, live on BoxNation.
Gvozdyk won his belt in December knocking out Adonis Stevenson in the 11th round when trailing on two of the cards.
Stevenson was taken to the hospital in critical condition and underwent emergency surgery for a cerebral haemorrhage, but is believed to be slowly recovering slowly from his brain injury,
Gvozdyk, who has won all 16 fights, said: "Right now, my mentality is like before I fought Stevenson.
“Doudou Ngumbu is a really a good opponent despite his losses. The guy is getting his first, and maybe last chance at a World Title, so he's going to do his best.
“It's really a big challenge for me. I have experience with another French guy, Mehdi Amar. When I was thinking it would not be that difficult, it was a mistake. Nobody was expecting it, but it was a really tough fight for me.
“I'm just focusing and concentrating myself to not make the same mistake again.”
Gvozdyk, 31, is dreaming of facing the division’s other World Champions, Russian trio Artur Beterbiev (IBF), Dmitry Bivol (WBA) and Sergey Kovalev (WBO), but Ngumbu is all that matters.
He added: “It was a long journey for me to become a World Champion, and I plan on showing everyone why I am the best Light Heavyweight in the world. Ngumbu is a tough fighter who I cannot afford to overlook.
“My goal in 2019 is to unify with the other champions, but before I can do that, I have to take care of business this weekend.”
Eyebrows were raised last year when he left trainer Marcos Contreras before he started preparing for Stevenson and joined hot-headed motormouth Teddy Atlas.
Gvozdyk claimed he would get more one-to-one time with Atlas as Contreras trains other boxers including Egidijus Kavaliauskas, who is also boxing on this weekend’s big card.
“I'm not doing this by myself – it's all Teddy's work,” gushed Gvozdyk who heaps constant praise on Atlas. “Teddy is a legendary trainer. I'm proud to work with him. I think in this camp we definitely understand each other better. I really like it.”