Oleksandr Gvozdyk

Weight Division
Light Heavyweight
11th April 2019

Oleksandr Gvozdyk

Oleksandr Gvozdyk
Олександр Гвоздик
Гвоздик Олександр Сергійович (Кременчук, 4.10.2012).jpg
Gvozdyk in 2012
Nickname(s)The Nail
Weight(s)Light heavyweight
Height1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)[1]
Reach192 cm (76 in)
BornOleksandr Serhiyovych Gvozdyk
(1987-04-15) 15 April 1987 (age 32)
Kharkiv, Ukrainian SSR,
Soviet Union
Boxing record
Total fights18
Wins by KO14

Oleksandr Serhiyovych Gvozdyk (Ukrainian: Олександр Сергійович Гвоздик, IPA: [olekˈsɑndr serˈɦijowɪtʃ ˈɦwɔzdɪk]; also Hvozdyk; born 15 April 1987) is a Ukrainian professional boxer who held the WBC and lineal light heavyweight titles from 2018 to 2019. As of October 2019, he is ranked as the world's third-best active light heavyweight by The Ring magazine, and sixth by BoxRec.

As an amateur, Gvozdyk won a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics and a gold medal at the 2013 Summer Universiade. He turned professional in 2014 and won the WBC and lineal light heavyweight titles in 2018, by defeating Adonis Stevenson via knockout. He lost these titles to Artur Beterbiev in 2019.

Nicknamed "The Nail" as the Russian translation of Gvozdyk is nail,[2] Gvozdyk's knockout-to-win ratio stands at 82.4%. He is part of the Ukrainian golden generation of boxing along with Vasyl Lomachenko and Oleksandr Usyk.[3]

Amateur career

Gvozdyk began boxing when he was 10, at the encouragement of his friends.[4] As an amateur, he won gold in the light heavyweight division at the 2008 World University Boxing Championship.[5] He was a three-time national Ukrainian amateur champion, winning the title for the first time in 2009, beating Vyacheslav Shabranskyy in the final. He won the national title again in 2010, against Ivan Senay, and 2011, against .[6][7]

At the 2009 World Amateur Boxing Championships, Gvozdyk beat two opponents before being edged out by German boxer Rene Krause. He also was eliminated in the third round at the 2010 European Amateur Boxing Championships. Gvozdyk won the EUBC Europe Cup in 2011, by stopping of Estonia.[8]

At the 2011 World Amateur Boxing Championships Gvozdyk beat three fighters before falling to the 2009 world champion Egor Mekhontsev of Russia. By reaching the quarterfinals, Gvozdyk qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics.[9] Gvozdyk was a bronze medallist at the 2012 Summer Olympics. He defeated Belarusian Mikhail Dauhaliavets 18–10, Nicaraguan Osmar Bravo 18–6, and Algerian Abdelhafid Benchabla 19–17 before losing to Kazakh Adilbek Niyazymbetov on countback in the semifinals.[10]

Gvozdyk participated in the World Series of Boxing between 2011 and 2013, winning 9 bouts and losing none.[11] Gvozdyk rounded out his amateur career by winning gold at the 2013 Summer Universiade. He won by walkover in the final as Dmitry Bivol injured his hand in the semi-final and could not compete.[12] Gvozdyk's exact amateur record is unknown, but he has said he had around 255 bouts and lost 30 of which, so he finished with a record of about 225-30.[13]

Professional career

Rise through the ranks

Gvozdyk turned professional in 2014, signing with Top Rank.[14] He won his debut, defeating Mike Montoya (5-2-1) via first-round KO on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley II on 12 April 2014.[15] In 2016, Gvozdyk challenged for the NABF light-heavyweight title against former world title challenger Nadjib Mohammedi (37-4), on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley III. Gvozdyk dropped Mohammedi in the second round with a right hook. Mohammedi fell face first on the canvas and the referee waved the fight immediately, giving Gvozdyk his tenth straight win and his first professional title.[16]

Gvozdyk made his first title defence against three-time world-title challenger Tommy Karpency (26-5-1) on 23 July 2016. After Karpency dropped Gvozdyk in the first round with an inside shot, Gvozdyk rallied and knocked Karpency out in the sixth round with a hook to the body.[17] He then faced off against Isaac Chilemba (24-4-2) on 19 November 2016, on the undercard of Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward. Gvozdyk started strong after Chilemba suffered an injury to his right hand. Chilemba started to increase the pace, but decided to retire at the end of the eight round due to his hand injury, giving Gvozdyk the win.[18]

On 8 April 2017, Gvozdyk won a second regional title, claiming the NABO title with a round 3 TKO win over Yunieski Gonzalez (18-2).[19] Later that year, the WBC ordered a world title eliminator between Gvozdyk and Marcus Browne, but Browne declined the fight.[20] On 19 August, Gvozdyk defeated Craig Baker (17-1) by a 6th round knockout at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska. Baker was coming off a year-long layoff to take the fight with Gvozdyk.[21]

Gvozdyk won the interim WBC light heavyweight title by dominating a 12-round bout on 17 March 2018 against former European light heavyweight champion Mehdi Amar (34-5-2), and put himself in position to challenge Adonis Stevenson for the full WBC title. According to CompuBox, Gvozdyk landed 256 of 960 (27%) total punches, including 176 of 492 (36%) of his power shots. Amar landed 135 of 536 (25%) of his total shots, including 92 of 337 (27%) power shots.[22]

WBC and lineal champion

On 1 December 2018, Gvozdyk knocked out Adonis Stevenson (29-2-1, 24 KO) at 2:49 of the 11th round to win the WBC and lineal championship, ending a reign that began in 2013. Gvozdyk knocked Stevenson down in the third round, but the referee called it as a slip. Stevenson hurt Gvozdyk with a few strong shots in the 9th and 10th rounds, particularly a left hand in the 10th which almost dropped Gvozdyk. But Gvozdyk rallied and after a 10-punch combination finished with a straight right he put Stevenson down hard in the 11th round. The referee waved the fight without a count as Stevenson was clearly unconscious.[23] Stevenson was hospitalised after the bout with a life-threatening brain injury, and was put in an induced coma for three weeks.[24] Gvozdyk said he does not want to be "known as a killer" and has wished Stevenson a strong recovery.[25]

On 30 March 2019, Gvozdyk faced Doudou Ngumbu (38-8, 14 KOs) in his first defense of his WBC and lineal titles. Gvozdyk started the bout as the aggressor by peppering Ngumbu with short right and left hands, before landing a punishing overhand right. By the third round, Gvozdyk appeared to be getting into a rhythm, as he connected on a straight right hand followed by a left hook. Ngumbu fought back, firing off a hard combination of his own to the body. Near the end of the fourth round, Gvozdyk upped the work rate on his jab to set up a three-punch combination. Early In the fifth round, Ngumbu's right calf gave out on him. Despite the injury not being the result of a foul, the referee gave Ngumbu five minutes to try to recover. Ngumbu tried to walk around the ring, but continued to have a limp, and the bout was called off as a TKO victory for Gvozdyk.[26]

Gvozdyk vs. Beterbiev

After the Ngumbu bout, Top Rank set to work on a unification fight between Gvozdyk and IBF light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev for some time in Autumn 2019 on ESPN. The winner of Gvozdyk vs. Beterbiev would hold two of the four world titles at 175, and set up further unification matches. The two-time Russian Olympian Beterbiev (14-0, 14 KOs) had arguably been avoided by the other top fighters in the 175 pound division as he is a fearsome opponent but did not have name recognition among most fans. In July it was announced that the fight would be on 18 October, at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia.[27]

At the end of the first round, Gvozdyk was on the canvas. The referee called it as a knockdown, as the crowd was booing. There was an instant replay call that overturned the knockdown to a push. The fight was competitive, with Gvozdyk's accurate punching countering Beterbiev's pressure, but Gvozdyk began to fade as the fight went on. In the 9th round, Beterbiev took control of the fight, and had Gvozdyk struggling to stay on his feet. Gvozdyk survived the round but was visibly fatigued coming into the 10th. Beterbiev applied the pressure in the 10th and Gvozdyk took a knee early in the round. He got up but soon went down again after another flurry from Beterbiev, and the referee warned that another knockdown would mean the end of the fight. After another exchange where Beterbiev came out on top, Gvozdyk took a knee once more, resulting in a TKO victory for Beterbiev. Gvozdyk was leading on the scorecards at the time of stoppage, with two judges seeing the fight 87-83, 86-85 for Gvozdyk, and one judge seeing it 83-87 for Beterbiev.[28] After the bout, Gvozdyk was hospitalised as he said he felt a pain in the back of his head. It was feared that he had suffered a brain bleed, but testing revealed it was only a mild concussion due to the strikes to the back of the head he experienced during the fight. He was released from hospital after two days.[29]

Personal life

Gvozdyk was born in Kharkiv, Ukraine, as an only child. His father was an amateur boxer.[30] Gvozdyk is married and has three children, two sons and a daughter.[31]

Professional boxing record

Professional record summary
18 fights 17 wins 1 loss
By knockout 14 1
By decision 3 0
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
18 Loss 17–1 Russia Artur Beterbiev TKO 10 (12), 2:49 18 Oct 2019 United States Liacouras Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US Lost WBC and lineal light heavyweight titles;
For IBF light-heavyweight title
17 Win 17–0 France Doudou Ngumbu TKO 5 (12), 0:58 30 Mar 2019 United States 2300 Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US Retained WBC and lineal light heavyweight titles
16 Win 16–0 Canada Adonis Stevenson KO 11 (12), 2:49 1 Dec 2018 Canada Videotron Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada Won WBC and lineallight heavyweight titles
15 Win 15–0 France Mehdi Amar UD 12 17 Mar 2018 United States The Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, US Won vacant WBC interim light heavyweight title
14 Win 14–0 United States Craig Baker TKO 6 (10), 2:04 19 Aug 2017 United States Pinnacle Bank Arena, Lincoln, Nebraska, US Retained NABF and WBO–NABO light heavyweight titles
13 Win 13–0 Cuba Yunieski Gonzalez TKO 3 (10), 2:55 8 Apr 2017 United States MGM National Harbor, Oxon Hill, Maryland, US Retained NABF light heavyweight title;
Won vacant WBONABO light heavyweight title
12 Win 12–0 Malawi Isaac Chilemba RTD 8 (10), 3:00 19 Nov 2016 United States T-Mobile Arena, Paradise, Nevada, US Retained NABF light heavyweight title
11 Win 11–0 United States Tommy Karpency KO 6 (10), 2:21 23 Jul 2016 United States MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, US Retained NABF light heavyweight title
10 Win 10–0 France Nadjib Mohammedi KO 2 (10), 2:06 9 Apr 2016 United States MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, US Won vacant NABF light heavyweight title
9 Win 9–0 United States Mike Snider KO 1 (8), 2:58 13 Feb 2016 United States Sportsmen's Lodge, Studio City, California, US
8 Win 8–0 Brazil Cleiton Conceição TKO 3 (8), 0:50 20 Nov 2015 United States Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Paradise, Nevada, US
7 Win 7–0 Mexico Francisco Sierra RTD 5 (8), 3:00 19 Sep 2015 United States Sportsmen's Lodge, Studio City, California, US
6 Win 6–0 Ghana Michael Gbenga UD 6 13 Jun 2015 United States Florentine Gardens, Los Angeles, California, US
5 Win 5–0 United States Cory Cummings KO 2 (8), 1:10 24 Jan 2015 United States 1stBank Center, Broomfield, Colorado, US
4 Win 4–0 United States Otis Griffin TKO 6 (8), 1:51 15 Nov 2014 United States Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas, US
3 Win 3–0 United States Lamont Williams KO 5 (6), 1:38 20 Sep 2014 United States Celebrity Theatre, Phoenix, Arizona, US
2 Win 2–0 Ghana Michael Gbenga UD 6 17 May 2014 United States Selland Arena, Fresno, California, US
1 Win 1–0 United States Mike Montoya KO 1 (6), 2:55 12 Apr 2014 United States MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, US


  1. ^ Top Rank tale of the tape prior to the Adonis Stevenson fight.
  2. ^ https://www.toprank.com/all-fighters/oleksandr-gvozdyk/
  3. ^ https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/lomachenko-vs-campbell-loma-leading-133637695.html
  4. ^ https://www.boxnation.com/boxing-news/factfile-oleksandr-gvozdyk/
  5. ^ https://www.toprank.com/all-fighters/oleksandr-gvozdyk/
  6. ^ "Oleksandr Gvozdyk - BoxRec". Boxrec.com. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  7. ^ https://www.toprank.com/all-fighters/oleksandr-gvozdyk/
  8. ^ https://www.toprank.com/all-fighters/oleksandr-gvozdyk/
  9. ^ https://www.toprank.com/all-fighters/oleksandr-gvozdyk/
  10. ^ https://www.toprank.com/all-fighters/oleksandr-gvozdyk/
  11. ^ https://www.toprank.com/all-fighters/oleksandr-gvozdyk/
  12. ^ http://kazan2013.com/en/news_items/8514
  13. ^ https://www.boxnation.com/boxing-news/factfile-oleksandr-gvozdyk/
  14. ^ "Top Rank signs Olympian Alexander Gvozdyk - The Ring". Ringtv.com. 14 February 2014. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  15. ^ https://www.sportsnet.ca/more/vargas-claims-title-on-pacquiao-bradley-undercard/
  16. ^ https://www.badlefthook.com/2016/4/9/11399942/pacquiao-vs-bradley-iii-watch-oleksandr-gvozdyks-brutal-knockout
  17. ^ "Gvozdyk Gets Off The Floor To Stop Karpency in Six - Boxing News". Boxingscene.com. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  18. ^ "Oleksandr Gvozdyk Stops Isaac Chilemba in Eight Rounds - Boxing News". Boxingscene.com. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  19. ^ "Gvozdyk steamrolls Gonzalez". Badlefthook.com. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  20. ^ http://www.boxingscene.com/gvozdyk-return-february-browne-pulls-out-eliminator--122420
  21. ^ https://www.boxingnews24.com/2017/08/oleksandr-gvozdyk-vs-craig-baker-results/
  22. ^ https://www.badlefthook.com/2018/3/17/17134908/gvozdyk-vs-amar-results-oleksandr-gvozdyk-wins-decision-takes-interim-belt
  23. ^ https://www.badlefthook.com/2018/12/1/18121617/stevenson-vs-gvozdyk-results-oleksandr-gvozdyk-stops-adonis-stevenson-in-11th-round
  24. ^ https://talksport.com/sport/boxing/537254/adonis-stevenson-latest-update-progress-recovery/
  25. ^ https://www.ringtv.com/557642-oleksandr-gvozdyk-finds-a-way-to-move-on-after-adonis-stevenson-fight/
  26. ^ https://www.sportingnews.com/us/boxing/news/oleksandr-gvozdyk-vs-doudou-ngumbu-results-highlights-espn-boxing-light-heavyweight/e6cs1j13r5i01vh6t4vkid7oe
  27. ^ https://www.badlefthook.com/2019/7/17/20698412/artur-beterbiev-signs-contract-october-18th-oleksandr-gvozdyk-espn
  28. ^ https://www.boxingscene.com/artur-beterbiev-vs-oleksandr-gvozdyk-official-scorecards--143494
  29. ^ "Gvozdyk out of hospital two days after fight". ESPN.com. 2019-10-20. Retrieved 2019-10-28.
  30. ^ https://www.toprank.com/all-fighters/oleksandr-gvozdyk/
  31. ^ https://www.boxnation.com/boxing-news/factfile-oleksandr-gvozdyk/

External links

Sporting positions
Regional boxing titles
Title last held by
Isaac Chilemba
NABF light heavyweight champion
9 April 2016 – March 2018
Title last held by
Sean Monaghan
light heavyweight champion

8 April 2017 – March 2018
Title next held by
Gilbert Lenin Castillo
World boxing titles
Title last held by
Chad Dawson
WBC light heavyweight champion
Interim title

18 March 2018 – 1 December 2018
Won full title
Preceded by
Adonis Stevenson
WBC light heavyweight champion
1 December 2018 – October 18, 2019
Succeeded by
Artur Beterbiev
Lineal light heavyweight champion
1 December 2018 – October 18, 2019
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