By Cliff Rold
MGM Harbor, Maryland - In the best win of his career, 29-year old 2012 Ukrainian Olympic light heavyweight bronze medalist Oleksandr Gvozdyk (13-0, 11 KO; 22-0, 14 KO including World Series of Boxing contests), 174 ¼, fighting out of Oxnard, California, moved closer to a title shot in the professional light heavyweight ranks. Scoring two knockdowns, Gvozdyk blasted out 31-year old Yunieski Gonzalez (18-3, 14 KO), 174 ¾, of Miami, Florida in round three.
Gvozdyk showed a bit more speed and activity in the first but both men were throwing hard shots as they warmed to the task. The same was true in the second, with Gonzalez throwing less but landing hard when he got in range.
In the third, being in range worked against Gonzalez. Gvozdyk was dialed in with the right hand, dropping Gonzalez twice in a round where he seemed like he couldn’t miss. Gonzalez, game to the finish, came off the floor the first time and was throwing as hard as he could on unsteady legs to survive.
Gonzalez couldn’t do it, floored for a second time, landing face first. His corner immediately rose to the apron to signal the end as Gonzalez fought to rise, objecting while Dock waved his night complete.
Gvozdyk entered the bout rated in the top ten of all four major sanctioning bodies: #4 WBC, #8 WBA, #7 IBF, and #6 WBO. He gave Gonzalez credit as an opponent after the fight.
“He was very strong, very tough. When I got him hurt, I threw everything I had.”
Questioned further after the bout, he sounded more than ready for a crack at the winner of the June rematch between WBA, IBF, and WBO titlist Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev.