Newly minted WBC Light Heavyweight champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk (16-0, 13 KOs) will make the first defense of his title on Saturday night against Doudou Ngumbu (38-8, 14 KOs) who will have the difficult task of unseating the champion.
The contest is scheduled to take place March 30 at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and will air live on ESPN starting at 10:00 pm, ET.
Gvozdyk will be heavily favored in this matchup as he will have a three-inch reach advantage and he is also six years younger than his opponent. The champion also has the benefit of facing and defeating better competition.
Ngumbu, to his credit, has faced decent opposition in Igor Mikhalkin and Andrzej Fonfara. Unfortunately for Ngumbu, he has lost every time he has raised his level of competition. Gvozdyk will be the toughest opponent he has faced by far.
Be that as it may, Ngumbu could still pull out the victory. Gvozdyk could be a much different fighter than we are accustomed to seeing.
How so? This is the first fight for Gvozdyk since his showdown with Adonis Stevenson. It was a very close fight, but Gvozdyk managed to stop Stevenson in the 11th round.
Shortly after the win, Stevenson was placed in a medically induced coma. Since then he has regained consciousness, but the status of his health is unknown.
Situations such as this can change a fighter. Just look at the contest between Prichard Colon and Terrel Williams in 2015. It was a terrific fight which saw Williams win by ninth-round disqualification. Colon wound up in a coma because of the fight and has never been the same since.
Williams was so shaken up by the result that he stopped boxing for two years.
In short, you just never know how a fighter can be affected by those circumstances. If Gvozdyk is affected in any way by his last fight, then Ngumbu will have a chance to spring the upset. If Gvozdyk has moved past that ordeal, it will be a long night for his opponent.