Before Saturday night’s big Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury PPV, Showtime presents a live stream of Adonis Stevenson (29-1-1; 24 KOs) vs. Oleksandr Gvozdyk (15-0; 12 KOs). The fight is for Stevenson’s WBC (and lineal) Light Heavyweight (175 lbs.) title. Ring Magazine has Stevenson ranked at #3 in the division, and Gvozdyk at #6. The fight takes place this Saturday, December 1 in Quebec with a fight time of 7:45 p.m. ET and will be available on Showtime and streaming.
How do these two stack up?
Stevenson: 41 years old | 5’11” | 77” reach | southpaw stance
Gvozdyk: 31 years old | 6’2” | 76” reach | orthodox stance
What have these two done recently?
Stevenson: D – Badou Jack (MD) | W – Andrzej Fonfara (TKO) | W – Thomas Williams Jr. (KO)
Gvozdyk: W – Mehdi Amar (UD) | W – Craig Baker (TKO) | Yunieski Gonzalez (TKO)
How did these two get here?
The script on Adonis Stevenson has been the same for a number of years now. The power puncher won the lineal Light Heavyweight title in an upset over Chad Dawson in 2013, then started facing a steady stream of overmatched talent. There was once much hype over a Stevenson vs. Sergey Kovalev superfight, but that is long dead now. To his credit, Stevenson did face a very legitimate opponent last time out, fighting to a draw with Badou Jack in May. Stevenson has progressively become less relevant in the division as time has passed, and is now clearly third banana behind Eleider Alvarez and Dmitry Bivol. This will be his first fight outside of Quebec since 2011, and his 10th defense of the title.
Oleksandr Gvozdyk is a part of this new rising tide at Light Heavyweight. The undefeated Ukrainian is a 2012 Olympic Bronze medalist – a part of that same incredible team that produced Vasyl Lomachenko and Oleksandr Usyk. He’s had decent enough wins against the kind of talent that is a step below that higher Stevenson/Kovalev/Alvarez/Bivol level. No win Gvozdyk has yet shown distinguishes him from that pack (though his performance against Gonzalez was impressive indeed), but considering that pack is the top 4 of the division, that’s not a bad thing by any means. This is a step up for him no doubt, but not a crazy one.
What can fans expect?
This is honestly a very good fight, and a tough one to call, as it could go a lot of different ways. Stevenson remains one of those big punchers that can win a fight in an instant, and Gvozdyk has at times seemed susceptible to such a punch. Stevenson tends to start hot, and he could put the challenger down and out early. At the same time, Gvozdyk is a good technical counter-puncher, so could land the shots of his own if Stevenson overcommits. Conventional wisdom says the longer the fight goes, the more it favors Gvozdyk, and that is true, but Stevenson is certainly capable of going the distance – he did so against Jack and still walked out with his title, though just barely. An extra factor in here is Stevenson’s age. He’s 41, and at some point, time beats everyone. He’s also been openly talking about his next fight, seeming to look past Gvozdyk. Add all that up and it’s enough for me to predict the end of the line for Superman.
Prediction: Oleksandr Gvozdyk, KO 10
Should you watch?
For sure. It’s a very good fight, and will get you primed for the night’s main event.
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