Adonis Stevenson, currently the longest reigning world champion in boxing, will be looking to extend his WBC championship tenure with a successful defence against light-heavyweight contender Oleksandr Gvozdyk – something which is easier said than done.
The 31 year-old Ukrainian former Olympic bronze medallist, nicknamed ‘The Nail’, has accrued a record of 15-0 with 12 knockouts, dispatching of various respectable opponents in impressive fashion en route to his long-awaited world title opportunity.
Such an opportunity materialised when the original number one challenger for the WBC, Eleider ‘Storm’ Alvarez, was inexplicably unable to secure a showdown with Stevenson, who elected to face former super-middleweight champion Badou Jack. Alvarez was instead offered a shot at the WBO title against Sergey Kovalev and duly capitalised, with a devastating seventh-round knockout victory over the self-styled Krusher – who had previously reigned supreme over the division for the best part of three years.
Meanwhile, the Top-Rank promoted Gvozdyk is certainly a formidable adversary for Stevenson. The methodical boxer-puncher possesses spiteful power in addition to a relentless engine and a stinging jab. For this fight, he has enlisted the services of veteran cornerman Teddy Atlas
Indeed, in recent times across weight divisions in boxing, many ageing and established champions are being deposed by younger, fresher counterparts and the similarly undefeated Gvozdyk will undoubtedly be hoping to perpetuate that trend with a victory over Stevenson, someone who is ten years his senior.
Superman, who has displayed remarkable longevity throughout his career coupled with a potentially fight-ending straight left hand, successfully retained his title after battling Badou Jack to a majority draw in May but nonetheless continues to attract the ire of fans for his apparent reluctance to unify.
However, the fight against Gvozdyk may not be one Stevenson necessarily wanted to take, despite his promises of a knockout win. If the challenger can navigate his way through Stevenson’s early threat, expect the champion to be dethroned emphatically in the middle rounds as he succumbs to Gvozdyk’s energy and precise shots.
Article by: Navi Singh
Follow Navi on Twitter at: @DarkMan________