Before they enjoy Kovalev-Ward “Pound For Pound” on Nov. 19, the HBO Pay-Per-View audience will get to see another great 50-50 bout between the veteran and the prospect when Isaac “Golden Boy” Chilemba (24-4-2, 10 KOs) challenges Oleksandr “The Nail” Gvozdyk (11-0, 9 KOs) for Gvozdyk’s NABF Light Heavyweight Title at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The boxing world is split 50-50 on the outcome of this exciting match-up. Below is the scouting report:
Isaac “Golden Boy” Chilemba
11-0 (9 KOs)
24-4-2 (10 KOs)
Oleksandr has raw power in both hands, he does a good job of applying pressure on his opponents. He also has a good jab that remains at constant throughout the fight.
Isaac is a tough, durable and crafty fighter with plenty of experience. He utilizes his jab well and has been in the ring with some of the best fighters in the division.
He is inexperienced as a professional compared to Chilemba. This will be the biggest challenge of his career thus far. Also, he tends to stand directly in front of his opponents. In his last bout against Tommy Karpency this got him in trouble. After being caught by a shot, he got knocked down.
“The Golden Boy” lacks adequate punching power and has a tendency to start slow. He may need to step on the gas early against Gvozdyk who has wasted little time finishing opponents thus far in his career.
Oleksandr has an impressive amateur background, but as a professional he lacks the big-fight experience that Chilemba has.
Isaac has been in almost triple the amount of pro bouts as Gvozdyk. He has competed all over the world. In his most recent bout he competed on the biggest stage of them all when he came up short in a decision loss to titleholder Sergey Kovalev in Kovalev’s backyard.
Gvozdyk has tremendous power and a devastating right hand when he lands clean.
Chilemba is a technically skilled boxer, but lacks that initial pop that could change the momentum of the fight.
He has significant hand speed, especially when he puts his combinations together.
Isaac has average speed, he keeps a steady and consistent pace throughout the fight.
Oleksandr’s endurance is still in question. He has yet to fight more than six rounds in any of his pro bouts thus far.
Chilemba has excellent endurance; he has gone a full 12-rounds on ten separate occasions throughout his career, including his most recent bout against three-belt champion, Sergey Kovalev.
Similar Chilemba, Gvozdyk is a very accurate puncher. He has a jab that is constantly in motion, and a right hand that very few have been able to avoid.
Isaac is a very accurate puncher who chooses his punches wisely and times his punches well. He has an accurate jab that has been a key factor in taking his opponents out of their rhythm.
The Ukrainian’s offense has been his best defense thus far. He has managed to walk his opponents down and inflict damage at will.
Chilemba is a defensive fighter with effective counter-punching skills. He has good foot work and moves around the ring well.
His chin is still a question; he was knocked down in the first round of his recent bout. However, he managed to get back to his feet and score a sixth round TKO.
Isaac has never been stopped, he took some heavy shots and was knocked down in his most recent bout with The Krusher, but he managed to get off of the canvas and make it to the final bell.
Oleksandr is an aggressive, in-your-face fighter who is always looking to finish the fight early. He is constantly putting his jab to work and picking his opponents apart during the process.
Chilemba is an effective technical fighter with good counter-boxing skills. He likes to utilize his defense and a sharp jab to take his opponents out of their comfort zone.
Despite having only 11 professional fights under his belt, Gvozdyk is coming off of two dominant wins over former title contenders: Nadjib Mohammedi and Tommy Karpency. He clearly plans on wasting no time with meaningless tune-ups, as he is looking to make a statement in the light heavyweight division by taking on another former title contender, and also one of only two fighters to go the championship distance with Sergey Kovalev.
Isaac is coming off of consecutive losses for the first time in his career: WBC #1 contender Eleider Alvarez and light heavyweight kingpin Sergey Kovalev. At the young age of 29, Isaac has time to polish his game against lesser opposition before he is called upon for another major title implication bout. However, Isaac is a gamer and believes in his skillset, which is why he has decided to take on a top-five ranked contender and knockout artist in Oleksandr Gvozdyk.
Gvozdyk may have an edge because he has competed in Las Vegas on four separate occasions, including his two most recent bouts. He also possesses a fighting style that may attract new fans.
Chilemba has only competed in Las Vegas once in his career back in 2012. However, he raised a lot of eyebrows during his hard-fought bout against Kovalev in July so he may have gained some new fans in the process.
1. Will Chilemba be able to handle the power Gvozdyk has?
2. Will Gvozdyk get frustrated with Chilemba’s boxing ability?
3. Will both guys rise to the occasion with fighting on such a big stage?
According to Main Events’ matchmaker and 2015 NABF Matchmaker of the Year Jolene Mizzone, “This is the match that should be made more often in boxing. Gvozdyk is an up-and-coming boxer who could have passed on the fight to keep building his record but instead he opted to challenge himself against a fighter that no 175lber ever wants to fight, unless they have to. Chilemba just came off a hard-fought 12-round fight with Sergey Kovalev and could have opted for a tune-up fight before taking another big fight. Instead he wanted the challenge. This is your typical veteran against the prospect. There is not one person who can say for sure who will win this fight and boxing needs more fights like this!”
Kovalev vs. Ward “Pound For Pound”, a 12-round mega-fight for the WBO/IBF/WBA light heavyweight title at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, is presented by Main Events, Roc Nation Sports, Krusher Promotions and Andre Ward Promotions and is sponsored by MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Corona Extra, Monster Products, JetLux and Zappos. The championship event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. Tickets are available on axs.com and the T-Mobile Arena box office.