Oleksandr Gvozdyk Blasts Out Craig Baker

By Keith Idec

It took Oleksandr Gvozdyk five-plus rounds to do something significant Saturday night.

Once he got going, though, the unbeaten light heavyweight contender clobbered Craig Baker in the manner their resumes suggested he would. Gvozdyk dropped Baker and stopped him in the sixth round of a scheduled 10-round fight at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska.

ESPN broadcast Gvozdyk’s victory as the co-featured fight before undefeated champions Terence Crawford and Julius Indongo went at it in a full super lightweight championship unification match.

gvozdyk-baker (2)_1

Ukraine’s Gvozdyk (14-0, 12 KOs) was winning through five rounds, but still got off to a slow start against an opponent he was expected to knock out. He backed up Baker (17-2, 13 KOs) with a right hand with just over 1:20 to go in the sixth round and dropped him several seconds later with a right hand to the side of the head.

Baker got up, but Gvozdyk attacked him near the ropes, unloaded several unanswered punches and referee Celestino Ruiz stopped the bout at 2:04 of the sixth round.

Baker, 34, was knocked out for the second time in his past three fights. The Baytown, Texas, native was stopped in the third round of his May 2015 fight against by onetime super middleweight contender Edwin Rodriguez (29-2, 20 KOs).

Before Saturday night, Baker hadn’t fought since scoring a mild upset of Australian prospect Steve Lovett in June 2016. Baker got up from a fourth-round knockdown during that bout to knock out Lovett (15-2, 12 KOs, 1 NC) in the eighth round.

Gvozdyk’s advantages in skill, speed and power appeared evident early against Baker, but he looked lethargic through the first five rounds. There wasn’t much snap on his punches and he wasn’t aggressive.

Baker managed to land some right hands, but his punches didn’t seem to have much effect on his unbeaten opponent. Gvozdyk still was cautious for much of their fight before finally hurting Baker in the sixth round.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by PK3434 on 08-20-2017

[QUOTE=Kigali;17963852]:pat: Crawford doesn't get touched by guys like that. Gvozdyk acted like he was fighting Tyson...jumping across the ring after punching like his life was in danger:lol1: He's 30 already and is still getting babied. I see why. Soon as…

Comment by Boxing Logic on 08-20-2017

Gvozdyk has the same problem as Indongo does, he punches wide and often slow, and he moves his head back and over the center line a lot, just waiting to be clipped. It's how Karpency got him, it's how Ward…

Comment by Stephankotyk on 08-20-2017

There are two guys hating on UA squad. Not a big deal. Loma is doing his job Usyk is doing it Gvozdyk is doing it Other guys will be there soon

Comment by chimichanga-10 on 08-20-2017

All the Gvodzyk haters are either mexican or black lol .

Comment by Kigali on 08-20-2017

[QUOTE=Mammoth;17963923]I thought he played it a little safe. I like Gvozdyk quite a bit though.[/QUOTE] Not impressed at all He's a solid fighter...nothing more nothing less.

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