Though the eyes of the boxing world will be firmly fixed on the heavyweight main event this coming Saturday night, there will also be plenty of other good fights taking place. Showtime will televise a relative feast of boxing action (good value is of course paramount when US fans are being asked to fork out $75 for the show that will be topped by Deontay Wilder Vs. Tyson Fury) – from Canada to L.A.
The best fight of the night may well be provided by light-heavyweights Adonis Stevenson and Oleksandr Gvozdyk. We should, hopefully, see a cracker between Wilder and Fury, and Luis Ortiz-Travis Kauffman and Joe Joyce-Joe Hanks could also prove lively – but the world light-heavyweight title clash might just prove to be really special.
Stevenson, 29-1-1(24) has hardly ever been in a dull fight, no, “Superman” has given us some terrific action during his career. But Gvozdyk, 15-0(12) is, in the opinion of some good judges, the biggest threat to the WBC and Ring Magazine champ since, well, his last fight, that great slugfest with Badou Jack. Is Stevenson approaching the end at age 41, or can the southpaw who will be making the tenth defence of the title he won by smashing Chad Dawson way back in the summer of 2013 continue his run (Stevenson is the longest reigning current world champ)?
Gvozdyk seems to have plenty of things on his side in the fight: he is younger (by ten years), he is undefeated and he had a stellar amateur career. In fact, in the opinion of some, the man from Ukraine has been groomed for both world title glory and for stardom. Stevenson is a great puncher, but he can also be defensively vulnerable. Gvozdyk can also punch and he is well-schooled. With his sharp and accurate punches, maybe the unbeaten challenger will find sufficient holes in the defence of the champ? Or maybe Stevenson, full of guts, courage and a strong will to win, will find a way to win yet again.
Stevenson has proven he can get up from a knockdown to win, he has rallied when under severe pressure, and the one-time Emanuel Steward trained warrior has also shown he has the ability to dig deeper than deep whenever the need has risen. It might again on Saturday night. This one cannot fail to be a fan-friendly fight, and it could go either way. But the fight is unlikely to go the distance.
Let’s enjoy Stevenson while we can.