Undefeated light heavyweight contender Oleksandr Gvozdyk (11-0, 9 KOs) will be fighting this Saturday night against former world title challenger Issac Chilemba (24-4-2, 10 KOs) in a 12 round fight on the undercard of the Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward card at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 29-year-old Gvozdyk, ranked #4 WBC, #9 WBO, #10 IBF, is seen by some as the next star in the 175lb division.
We’re going to find that out soon, because Gvozdyk is going to get a serious test from the 29-year-old Chilemba, who is coming into this fight ranked #10 WBC, and having lost his last two fights against Kovalev and Eleider Alvarez. Chilemba is a very good fighter, but he just had the bad luck of facing two very good fighters in a row. If it had been Gvozyk fighting Kovalev and Alvarez in back to back fights, he might be coming into this fight on Saturday with two defeats on his resume instead of having an unbeaten record.
This will be an interesting fight for the many boxing fans that will be watching the card on HBO pay-per-view, because it’s a competitive fight on paper. The results of the fight will likely put one of them in position for a world title shot against either the winner of the Kovalev vs. Ward fight or WBC champion Adonis Stevenson.
In Gvozdyk’s last two fights, he’s beaten Tommy Karpency and Nadjib Mohammedi. He knocked both guys out, although it was a little scary in his fight against Karpency for a while, as he was knocked down in that fight
Gvozdyk, a 2012 Olympian from Ukraine, will be defending his NABF light heavyweight belt. Gvozdyk has better punching power than Chilemba. However, that doesn’t mean he’s going to be able to land his big shots on Chilemba, because he’s very hard to hit. Getting shots in on Chilemba can be very difficult.
Gvozdyk will likely have too much power for Chilemba to handle, and I suspect he’ll wind up winning a decision in this fight. I don’t see him getting a knockout though because Chilemba is too hard to hit cleanly with any real consistency. gvozdyk is going to need to fight with a little more self control in this fight than he showed against Karpency. Chilemba has got great boxing skills, fast hands and very good accuracy. If Gvozdyk fights in a sloppy manner against him like he did against Karpency, we could see a KO.