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Isaac Chilemba faces Oleksandr Gvozdyk


By Eric Baldwin: #10 WBC light heavyweight contender Isaac Chilemba will be fighting unbeaten #4 WBC Oleksandr Gvozdyk (11-0, 9 KOs) on November 19 on the undercard of the Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The fight will be televised on HBO pay-per-view. Gvozdyk, 29, fought in the 2012 London Olympics, but was beaten by Kazakhstan’s Adilet Niyazimbetov.

The Top Rank promoted Gvozdyk was knocked down in the 1st round by Tommy Karpency in his last fight in July. Karpency struggled with the little bit of movement that Gvozdyk started using in the fight beginning in the 3rd, and the fight was the fight was eventually halted in the 6th. Gvozdyk’s stock kind of dropped from that fight.

Gvozdyk lacks hand speed, and it’s going to be next to impossible for him to beat WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson when he eventually gets his shot at the title. The only thing Gvozdyk has on his side is youth. When Stevenson eventually gets older, it’s possible that Gvozdyk may be able to move in and win the WBC title.

Right now, he’s going to have his hands full in dealing with the faster, more experienced 29-year-old Chilemba on November 19. Chilemba is a tough test for Gvozdyk, because he doesn’t have the experience at the pro level for this kind of opponent unless you want to call Karpency experience.

Chilemba lost his last fight to Kovalev by a 12 round unanimous decision last July in Russia. Chilemba was knocked down in the 7th round by Kovalev. However, Kovalev wasn’t able to finish him off, and he ended up taking a lot of shots in the fight. Kovalev still dominated the contest in winning a 12 round unanimous decision by the scores 116-111, 117-110 and 118-109.

Gvozdyk will have a chance to show whether he can beat Chilemba better than Kovalev and Tony Bellew did in the past. This is a real opportunity for Gvozdyk to show off his boxing skills and prove to the fans that he deserves to be rated as highly as Kovalev. However, there’s also a chance that Gvozdyk could wind up being exposed again, but even worse than he did in the Karpency fight.

Gvozdyk did not look like a future champion in the Karpency fight. Based on that performance, you’d have to rate Gvozdyk below the likes of Artur Beterbiev, Joe Smith and Andrzej Fonfara. Those guys all look better than Gvozdyk right now. It’s possible that Gvozdyk could improve in the future, but right now, he’s still looking very flawed. It would make for big news if Gvozdyk can knockout Chilemba, but it’s doubtful.

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