Oleksandr Gvozdyk claims WBC told him Adonis Stevenson is next by Aug.19
By Jim Dower: WBC interim light heavyweight champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk (15-0, 12 KOs) says the World Boxing Council told him that WBC 175b. champion Adonis ‘Superman’ Stevenson (29-1-1, 24 KOs) must fight him within 90 days by August 19, according to Boxingtalk. The 2012 Olympian Gvozdyk is now waiting to sew whether the WBC will keep their word. Stevenson fought to a 12 round draw last Saturday night against Badou Jack (22-1-3, 13 KOs), and there is a great deal of interest from fans in a rematch. Gvozdyk could be pushed to the side if Stevenson and Jack face each other again unless the WBC orders Adonis to face Gvozdyk.
After the fight, Stevenson said he would give the 34-year-old Jack a rematch. If Stevenson wants that fight to happen next, then Gvozdyk would likely have to wait a lot longer than August 19 before he gets his mandated title shot against him. There’s ton of rematch talk for the Stevenson-Jack fight since last Saturday. Showtime will likely be eager to televise a rematch, and the boxing fans obviously want to see a second fight between them as well.
This was arguably the most exciting fight that Stevenson has been involved in during his career, and it was fortunate for Showtime to have been able to televise it. Stevenson did a lot of holding in the second half of the match after he gassed out. That’s when Jack came on and got the better of him in four of the last six rounds.
”I didn’t really think I was going to fight Adonis Stevenson in August,” Gvozdyk said to Boxingtalk. ”It’s impossible, a guy who is fighting once a year now is suddenly going to fight me in three months? The fight is supposed to be done by August 19th, 90 days after their fight…WBC has told us that we will be next, so we should be next,” Gvozdyk added.
It’s possible that Stevenson’s management could work out a step aside deal with Gvozdyk if the WBC insists that he face him next. Stevenson would then face Jack in a rematch in 4 to 6 months, and then the winner of that fight face Gvozdyk in early 2019. Under that situation, the 31-year-old Gvozdyk could wind up waiting for an entire year before he gets a fight against the winner of the Stevenson-Jack II fight.
It’s going to be up to the WBC to decide whether they want to make Stevenson fight his mandated opponent Gvozdyk or have the fight delayed. Eleider Alvarez is Stevenson’s mandatory challenger at the moment, but he’s decided to fight WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev next. Stevenson hasn’t defended against his WBC mandatory since his fight against Tony Bellew in 2013. Badou Jack was supposed to be another voluntary defense for Stevenson but it’s unclear whether the WBC installed him as his mandatory before the fight. As the interim WBC 175lb champion, Gvozdyk should be getting a title shot against Stevenson. If Gvozdyk was told by the WBC that he would be getting the fight against Stevenson by August 19, you would expect for them to make sure that happens.
Gvozdyk says he saw the Stevenson vs. Jack fight as a draw. He says it was a dirty fight and boring. He doesn’t say why he thinks it was boring, but it’s likely all the holding Stevenson was doing made it dull for him.
Gvozdyk looked kind of shaky in his last fight against Mehdi Amar (34-6-2, 16 KOs) on March 17. Although Gvozdyk won a 12 round unanimous decision, he was hurt by Amar in the 11th and 12h rounds after getting hit with left hooks by the 35-year-old French fighter. Stevenson would likely have little problems beating Gvozdyk if he proves to be as vulnerable to his power shots as he was against Amar.