AND THE NEW!
Ladies & gentlemen, we have a brand new Lineal/WBC Light-Heavyweight Champion…..
Oleksandr Gvozdyk (16 – 0 – 0, 13KO) was able to shrug off a rusty, tentative start in which he found himself losing the first two rounds while establishing his range and rhythm, dominating the middle rounds en-route to a devastating knockout victory over the now-former Lineal Champ Adonis ‘Superman’ Stevenson (29 – 2 – 1, 24KO) in the 11th round.
Gvozdyk early on exhibited some uncharacteristic, new side-to-side movement, courtesy of new Trainer Teddy Atlas, with the plan of keeping Stevenson off-balanced, circling away from his vaunted left hand, and giving him unpredictable looks, while Gvozdyk established a comfortable range to counter-punch. Stevenson was finding some success in the 1st half of the fight landing his big left hand, but Gvozdyk in mid-fight made the necessary adjustments, which made it more difficult as time passed for Adonis to find the target with it. Gvozdyk was also able to for the most part nullify Stevenson’s check-right hook in close range.
As Gvozdyk was tallying up the points, Stevenson ramped up the activity around the 9th round, and was effective in pulling off the 9th & 10th rounds in our estimation. During that 10th round, Adonis finally found a home for a sledge-hammer left hand that had Oleksandr on the way down, however the ropes stopped his momentum, preventing Olek from hitting the canvas. Appearing hurt for the next minute and on shaky legs, he successfully held on and evaded the big shots fired en-route to getting his legs back. As Gvozdyk regained his cognition, he finished the round strong with a beautiful combination, as it was an indicator that he will be there to the end.
The 11th round, Gvozdyk with surgical precision let off combination after combination, landing nearly everything he threw, from the set-up shots, to the thudding shots that followed. He hurt Stevenson badly with a straight right hand, and went all-out in full aggression mode, pummeling the Champion in the corner and delivering the devastating knockout for what is clearly thee signature moment of his professional career.
With this stand-out performance, the man nicknamed ‘The Nail’, Gvozdyk has put his best foot forward, and has established himself as thee man in the division by obtaining the Lineal distinction. In what is a division that is as deep as nearly any in boxing today, he has a wide range of top-notch opposition sitting in front of him, who now will want to take up a mega fight with him in efforts of becoming the man themselves. As for Stevenson, one now has to wonder, at the age of 41, a 5-year run coming to a close, and new blood taking over the elite climate of the division, he may just call it quits at this point, but who knows, maybe he will call for a re-match. Whatever his decision in the near future will be, we will keep you posted on what he decides to do. Hats off to the brand new Champion.