By Elisinio Castillo
After fighting twice in Miami, Yunieski Gonzalez has just signed a contract to fight Oleksandr Gvozdyk on April 8, in a fight that will server as the HBO televised co-feature to Vasyl Lomachenko defending his WBO junior lightweight title against Jason Sosa.
Both Gvozdyk (bronze) and Lomachenko (gold) were part the Olympic team - also with Oleksandr Usyk - in London 2012 which is still a source of pride in Ukraine for the medals that they won.
Usyk and Lomanchenko are professional champions and Gvozdyk has promised that before the end of 2017 he will challenge the winner of the possible - although very difficult to produce - rematch between Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward.
With an impressive amateur record of 220-30, Gvozdyk turned out to be almost unbeatable before moving to the professional world, especially in the last two fights to amass a 9-0 record.
"We know how difficult this fight will be for Yunieski, but we are confident at how much he has improved in these times," said Michael Luzbet, one of the Cubans' managers to George Ebro. "This is an opportunity we can not afford to miss."
Gvozdyk's professional record is even more impressive, as his last three appearances have been against legitimate light heavyweight contenders such as Nadjib Mohammed, Tommy Karpency and Isaac Chilemba, and all three were dispatched inside the distance.
Curiously, Gvozdyk has never fought as a professional in his country and his entire career has been developed in the United States under the guidance of renowned coach Robert Garcia at his gym in Oxnard, California.
Gonzalez, meanwhile, has his headquarters in Miami and has put his career in the hands of coach Pedro Diaz.
"With Pedro I have changed a lot and if you have seen my explosiveness in those two fights, you will know the strength of my hands, the speed of the combinations," Gonzalez said in a recent interview: "I am ready to face the best of the division''.