LAS VEGAS – Oleksandr Gvozdyk has summoned the courage of his Ukrainian countrymen, the momentum of his peers’ success and his own redemptive energy to reach Saturday night’s critical co-main event against unbeaten David Benavidez in the MGM Grand’s historic 100th championship card.

Former light heavyweight champion Gvozdyk (20-1, 16 KOs) may also receive one more significant boost as he enters the ring as a +350 underdog to Benavidez, the former super middleweight champion who stands 28-0 with 24 knockouts.

Gvozdyk revealed Thursday that his close friend and 2012 Olympic teammate, the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, Oleksandr Usyk, has said he will make every effort to attend the bout in person.

Usyk, who won a gold medal at the 2012 Summer Games while Gvozdyk claimed a bronze, is currently in Canada filming the movie “The Smashing Machine” with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Usyk is portraying Ukrainian MMA legend Igor Vovchanchyn while “The Rock” plays his rival, Mark Kerr.

It’s “likely [Usyk] is going to come to my fight to support me,” Gvozdyk said. “He is kind of busy filming in Canada with ‘The Rock,’ but he told me if there was any [time], obviously, he would fly here and support me.”

The pair spent time together recently – “bullshi*****, sitting in a sauna,” Gvozdyk said – when Usyk visited Los Angeles with his manager, Egis Klimas.

“We just remembered our old-school vibes, especially from the Olympic games, when we were spending a lot of time together in the same room, with the same team,” Gvozdyk said. “Now, we have a different life, but we still keep in communication, and personal meetings are always warm and super-nice.”

Usyk, 37, will stage an undisputed rematch with former WBC champion Tyson Fury on Dec. 21 in Saudi Arabia.

Gvozdyk was asked what he expects in the bout, and referenced video footage of Fury staggering out of a bar and falling face-first on the sidewalk.

“Fury posted … well, not him, someone else … he was completely tanked in some bar, with people carrying him, and today he had a confession [video, with Fury punching a heavy bag], saying, ‘I’ll be in best shape,’” Gvozdyk said.

“It depends on Fury, because Usyk is going to be ready. Believe me. I know this guy. He’s going to be even better.

“What will Fury be able to show? I heard that – I mean it’s a rumor – that with psychological stress, Fury usually goes to drugs or a lot of alcohol. We’ll see how he handles it this time. If he’s in better shape, we’ll see a better fight.”

As for the more pressing matter of Gvozdyk’s bout, he will renew acquaintances with the Phoenix fighter who Gvozdyk sparred three times in Oxnard, California, in 2017, after Benavidez had first claimed the WBC super middleweight belt in 2017.

“I don’t know if it’s going to help me, because when we were sparring he was already a world champion and I was just starting my professional career, even though I’ve had an [extensive 250-fight] amateur career,” Gvozdyk said.

“Look, when you spar guys, you know what to expect. It will make this fight more exciting. When you have a big fight, I feel you’ve prepared for it your whole life.”

Gvozdyk retired for three years following his 10th-round TKO loss to current three-belt light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev, in which he was dropped three times in the 10th.

After a reporter labeled the defeat to Beterbiev (20-0, 20 KOs) as “excusable,” Gvozdyk smiled and replied, “It’s not excusable. I just lost.”

He fought three lesser foes last year and said he’s pleased with the progress.

“I’ve had enough time to get my rhythm back,” Gvozdyk said. “This fight happens at the right moment. I hope I [feel better than I did going into the Beterbiev fight]. We will see Saturday.”

Gvozdyk was asked if he fears Benavidez, who was nicknamed “the Mexican monster” by Mike Tyson.

“Monsters, to me … I’m skeptical. I don’t believe in monsters. He’s just a human,” Gvozdyk said.

As for their fight-night weight, Gvozdyk isn’t buying the suggestion by Benavidez promoter Sampson Lewkowicz that Benavidez won’t pack on a bunch of weight through rehydration following Friday’s weigh-in.

“I’ll maybe gain 15 pounds. I think he’s going to be bigger. He’s a big guy,” Gvozdyk said. “We’re both completely different people [from the sparring sessions]. He has great hand speed, throws great combinations, he’s one of the great fighters in boxing. Maybe not perfect footwork, but he is complete. But I have 250 amateur fights and 11 years as a pro … I’ve seen all of this stuff.”

Beyond that, Gvozdyk is inspired to follow the lead of Usyk, returning lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko and his best friend, new WBO lightweight champion Denys Berinchyk, whom Gvozdyk watched win the belt from ringside in San Diego on May 18.

“It warms my heart that Ukrainian athletes are raising the flag all over the world for our Ukrainian countrymen to stay strong and resist [Russian] aggression,” Gvozdyk said.

“It reminds me of those old vibes from the Olympic Games, when we were fighting together. It’s cool to feel it again 12 years later.”