Oleksandr Gvozdyk vs. Mehdi Amar – Results
By Allan Fox: Oleksandr Gvozdyk (15-0, 12 KOs) put in a workmanlike performance in defeating #11 WBC over Mehdi Amar (34-6-2, 16 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision to win the vacant interim World Boxing Council 175 lb. title on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York.
The scores were 117-111, 116-112, and 118-110. Boxing News 24 gave it to Gvozdyk by the score 116-112. He won but he did not look great.
Amar had success when he was using his jab. He couldn’t miss with that shot. Gvozdyk had no ability to get out of the way of the punches. Amar seemed more intent on loading up with his left hook and right hand to try and hurt Gvozdyk, and that didn’t work as well for him. Gvozdyk was still getting hit a lot though. He doesn’t have the defensive skills of WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol, who is quite good at picking off punches with his gloves and arms.
On offense, Gvozdyk was fine in landing nice power shots and jabs. He wasn’t fighting with the urgency that he should have, because this could have been an easy night’s work for Gvozdyk if he’d stepped on the gas. It looked like Gvozdyk was pacing himself for fear of gassing out.
In rounds 1 through 5, Gvozdyk was boxing in a methodical manner, almost like a robot at times. When he would throw a hard shot, his punching power looked very good, but he wasn’t throwing enough hard shots. The jabs from Amar did a number on Gvozdyk’s left eye, causing it to swell up. Gvzodyk was content to throw weak shots and box. He made the mistake of letting Amar go the full 12 rounds with him by fighting in this way.
Gvozdyk, 30, mostly fought well though the first 10 rounds of the fight, but he came unglued in the 11th and 12th and took some heavy shots from the 35-year-old Amar. Gvozdyk looked hurt in the last two rounds by big left hooks from France’s Amar. Gvozdyk can only blame himself for failing to finish strong, as he was too patient in the fight. He didn’t jump on Amar in the first three-fourths of the fight to try and get him out of there.
A good light heavyweight like Dmitry Bivol, Adonis Stevenson, Artur Beterbiev and Sregey Kovalev would have pressed Amar out of there well before the 12th round. But you can argue that Gvozdyk’s performance tonight against Amar proved that he’s no better than No.5 in the light heavyweight division.
Gvozdyk might not even be that good, as there some good fighters in the 175 lb. weight class like Sullivan Barrera, Eleider Alvarez, Badou Jack, Marcus Browne, Anthony Yard and Juergen Braehmer, who might have enough talent to beat him. The best thing that could happen for Top Rank is if Stevenson elects to wait a couple of years before he gets around to defending his WBC title against Gvozdyk.
If that fight happens right now, Gvozdyk loses badly, because he’s not on the same level as the 40-year-old Stevenson. Gvozdyk is a good fighter, but just not as good as Stevenson or any of the other champions at light heavyweight.