OXNARD, CALIF. - Undefeated champions and 2012 Ukrainian Olympic medalists VASYL LOMACHENKO, OLEKSANDR USYK and OLEKSANDR GVOZDYK hosted a Media Workout at World Boxing Gymnasium in Oxnard, Calif. today. All three are in deep training for their title defenses, which will take place Saturday, April 8, at The Theater at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, MD. Photos by Mikey Williams.
The event has been sold out for weeks. Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with Peltz Boxing Promotions, K2 Promotions, K2 Promotions Ukraine, Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing and Kiddar, the three title fights will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing, beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Lomachenko, Usyk and Gvozdyk were joined at their media workout by two-time Lithuanian Olympian "Mean Machine" Egidijus Kavaliauskas, who will be on the April 8 non-televised undercard in a six-round welterweight bout.
Lomachenko (7-1, 5 KOs), of Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, Ukraine, arguably boxing's top pound for pound fighter, makes his 2017 debut coming off a year that saw him named "Fighter of the Year" by several media outlets.
Already a two-division world champion and a two-time Olympic gold medalist, Lomachenko will be defending his World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior lightweight world title against former World Boxing Association (WBA) super featherweight world champion JASON "El Canito" SOSA (20-1-4, 15 KOs), from Newark, NJ. Usyk (11-0, 10 KOs), from Kiev, Ukraine, and a 2012 Olympic gold medalist, will be defending his WBO cruiserweight world title against Top-10 contender MIKE HUNTER (12-0, 8 KOs), from Las Vegas, Nev. Gvozdyk (12-0, 10 KOs), from Kharkiv, Ukraine, a 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, enters this fight having won 10 of his last 12 fights by knockout.
He will be defending his NABF light heavyweight title against YUNIESKY GONZALEZ (18-2, 14 KOs), a native of Pinar del Rio, Cuba, who lives and trains in Miami, Fla.
"Jason Sosa is very strong, is motivated, wants to win and he can fight all of the twelve rounds. It will be a hard fight. That I know.
"My Top-Three pound for pound list is GGG, Kovalev and Crawford. I don't want to be Number One until I deserve it. That means fighting and winning against two or three world champions. After that I may be Number One but for sure not now.
"I like the weight division I am in. I have no problems making weight. I am not that anxious to leave my division and not sure I will ever fight at 140. It's hard to look ahead but right now I am comfortable in my division where I have plenty of champions to fight against."
"I am going into a serious fight against Yuniesky Gonzalez. He is strong, experienced, puts pressure on you, tries to drive you into the ropes. He's a tough guy and I have to deal with him. I work hard every single day trying to be the best in my division."
"I have watched video of Michael Hunter and have a good idea of what he is all about. It's going to be a great fight. As an amateur I was trained by the best - Anatoly Lomachenko - just look at who he has produced as great professional fighters."
"Mean Machine" Egidijus Kavaliauskas
"I do get real mean the moment I leave the locker room, walk up the ring steps and get onto the canvas. And this is going to a big year for me. I am getting closer to my goal, a world title fight."
The HBO special 2 Days: Vasyl Lomachenko premieres This Saturday, March 25 at 12:10 a.m. (ET/PT) on HBO immediately following the replay of the two titles fights from Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
In addition to Kavaliauskas, the non-televised undercard will feature undefeated No. 1 super middleweight contender JESSE "Hard Work" HART from Philadelphia, PA., and local favorites from the metro Washington, D.C. area, including undefeated prospects MIKE "Yes Indeed" REED and PATRICK HARRIS in separate bouts.