By Keith Idec
Oleksandr Gvozdyk wants his shot at Adonis Stevenson as soon as possible.
Egis Klimas, Gvozdyk’s manager, told ESPN.com on Tuesday that he has signed a notification from the WBC stating that Gvozdyk was supposed to be Stevenson’s next opponent once Gvozdyk won the WBC’s interim 175-pound championship two months ago. Klimas also said that he would push that issue if the Mexico City-based sanctioning organization doesn’t order a Stevenson-Gvozdyk fight next.
There have been discussions since Stevenson’s 12-round majority draw with Badou Jack on May 19 in Toronto that they’ll take part in an immediate rematch. Jack was an optional opponent for Stevenson, who never made what was an overdue mandatory defense of his WBC light heavyweight title against Eleider Alvarez.
Ukraine’s Gvozdyk (15-0, 12 KOs) defeated France’s Mehdi Amar (34-6-2, 16 KOs) by unanimous decision in their 12-rounder to win the WBC interim light heavyweight title March 17 in New York. The 31-year-old Gvozdyk expressed concern both before and after that bout regarding getting his shot at Stevenson next.
“You can take a look at history, and it’s already happened a lot of times,” Gvozdyk told BoxingScene.com. “You can be sure you’re gonna fight only when you stand in the ring.
“The WBC has sanctioned that the winner of [the Stevenson-Jack] fight is supposed to make a mandatory defense against the winner of our fight [within] 90 days [after May 19].”
Quebec’s Stevenson (29-1-1, 24 KOs) and Sweden’s Jack (22-1-3, 13 KOs) each expressed interest in an immediate rematch following their draw. Gvozdyk understandably doesn’t want to find himself in the same position as Alvarez.
Colombia’s Alvarez (23-0, 11 KOs) took a fight against WBO champion Sergey Kovalev (32-2-1, 28 KOs) because he couldn’t secure his mandated shot at Stevenson. Alvarez was Stevenson’s mandatory challenger for nearly 2½ years before he quickly accepted an offer the face Kovalev on August 4 at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey (HBO).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.