By Ian S Palmer
Unbeaten light heavyweight Oleksandr Gvozdyk of Ukraine will be taking on Yunieski Gonzalez of Cuba in a 10-round bout at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland this Saturday, April 8th. The fight can be seen live in North America on HBO while fans in the UK can catch the action on BoxNation. Gvozdyk last fought in November and stopped Isaac Chilemba after the eighth round. Gonzalez also fought in November and stopped Maxwell Amponsah in the first round. Gvozdyk may be known to fans as a bronze medal winner at the 2012 Olympic Games in London England.
The 29-year-old Gvozdyk enters the ring with a perfect mark of 12-0 along with 10 Kos while the 31-year-old Gonzalez is 18-2 with 14 Kos to his name. Gvozdyk stands 6-feet-2-inches tall and has a reach of 75.5 inches. He’s now fighting out of Oxnard, California and has just 51 rounds under his belt since turning pro in 2014. The Ukrainian isn’t really known as a power puncher, but you’d never know it since his knockout ratio currently stands at a very impressive 83 per cent. His biggest wins so far have been against Tommy Karpency, Otis Griffin, Nadjib Mohammedi and Chilemba.
Gonzalez, who now fights out of Miami, Florida, is 5-feet-11-inches tall with an unlisted reach. He also has pretty good power with a current knockout ratio of 70 per cent. He has 88 rounds of pro experience under his belt since his debut in 2010. Gonzalez’s two losses came to former champion Jean Pascal by 10-round unanimous decision in July of 2015 and to Vyacheslav Shabranskyy by 10-round majority decision in his very next fight five months later. The rest of his opponents have been of the Grade B variety.
This is a good matchup between a couple of evenly-skilled boxers and it should be a decent contest. Gvozdyk will likely try to use his jab and three-inch height advantage here to keep Gonzalez at a distance by boxing him. Gonzalez will try to fight inside, go to the body and follow with left hooks to the head. The telling moments in the bout will be how each other’s chin holds up if and when they’re nailed solidly on it. They won’t be able to take any rounds off since this is scheduled for just 10 rounds.
Both boxers are capable of winning this fight, so don’t be surprised by any result, including a draw. Gvozdyk struggled slightly against Karpency, who’s a good boxer, and will need to do much better against the dangerous Gonzalez. Both men have good power so there could be a knockdown or two along the way. I think if both men fight to their potential though, Gvozdyk should emerge victorious.