By: Hans Themistode
With all of the buzz that Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury has received and rightfully so I might add. It is easy to forget that current WBC Light Heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson (29-1, 24 KOs) will be entering the ring this Saturday against the dangerous and undefeated Oleksandr Gvozdyk (15-0, 12 KOs).
Stevenson has ruled over the Light Heavyweight division ever since he starched former champ Chad Dawson in the first round of their 2013 matchup.
To the chagrin of many the competition faced by Stevenson has been subpar to say the least. Now it’s not say that he has been ducking all challengers. However facing the likes of Sakio Bika, Dmitry Sukhotskiy, Andrzej Fonfara (twice) and Tommy Karpency does not exactly scream murderers row.
Ring activity has also been something that Stevenson has been against as well. This will be the first time in two years that Stevenson has fought at least twice in a calendar year.
Let’s be honest here. Stevenson had several opportunities to take on much tougher opposition but he seemed content with milking his title with easy pay day fights. That narrative however is now over.
In the first half of 2018 Stevenson took on former Super Middleweight title holder and current Light Heavyweight contender Badou Jack (22-1-3, 13 KOs). Although Stevenson only came away with a draw in that fight he will be looking to build off of his solid performance by defeating his upcoming Oleksandr Gvozdyk.
For those of you unfamiliar with Gvozdyk and are just assuming that Stevenson is taking on yet another soft touch, think again.
His destruction of former title contender Yunieski Gonzalez (18-3, 14 KOs) was awfully impressive. He also seemingly has the pedigree as he was a 2012 bronze medal winner in the olympics. Gvozdyk also shares the same team used by both pound for pound stars Vasyl Lomachenko and Oleksandr Usyk.
In short Stevenson will have quite the fight on his hands this Saturday night. The champion will have a slight one and a half reach advantage while also having his hometown fans behind him. He will also have the edge in both pro experience and having fought the better opposition.
Gvozdyk however will carry with him in to the ring a three inch height advantage and also plenty of momentum.
The Wilder vs Fury fight will be a tremendous one. Two undefeated big guys in their prime going head to head should lead to a special night.
However Stevenson vs Gvozdyk should receive their share of attention as well. It is a legitimate 50/50 matchup. Will Stevenson continue his reign that has spanned five plus years? Or will Gvozdyk finally bring that reign to an end and continue to usher in this new era of Ukrainian boxing?
This matchup may not have the buzz surrounding it that the Heavyweights do but nonetheless it’s sure to be one helluva fight.