Oleksandr Gvozdyk Retains WBC Light Heavyweight Title After Doudou Ngumbu Suffers Leg Injury

Oleksandr Gvozdyk walked out of Philadelphia still the WBC light heavyweight champion, but he retained his title in a manner he did not expect. 

In the middle of his title defense against Doudou Ngumbu, Ngumbu fell down onto the canvas as he was stepping back, suffering a mysterious leg injury. Ngumbu was not hit, nor did he landed awkwardly on his back foot, but he was unable to continue fighting and Gvozdyk was awarded the TKO victory.

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Late in the fifth round, Gvozdyk was stepping forward and nearly had Ngumbu trapped in a corner, but Ngumbu fell down out of nowhere. There was some confusion from the referee as to whether or not to stop the fight immediately or give Ngumbu five minutes to recover. While the referee and fight officials discussed the matter, Ngumbu tried to walk it off, but he was limping heavily, barely able to properly stand on his own two feet. The fight was then stopped, ending Ngumbu's world title aspirations.

The fight headlined a Top Rank on ESPN card from the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. This was Gvozdyk's first world title defense since dethroning long-time champion Adonis Stevenson last year in Canada with a knockout win in the 11th round. Gvozdyk improves his record to 17-0 with 14 of those wins coming from inside the distance.

In the co-main event of the card, Egidijus Kavaliauskas, the No. 1 contender to Terence Crawford's WBO welterweight title, was not able to defeat Ray Robinson, fighting to a majority draw. Two of the three scorecards had the fight a 95-95 draw while the third scorecard had Robinson ahead 97-93. Kavaliauskas was being viewed as a potential opponent for Crawford if he retained his title against Amir Khan on April 20 at Madison Square Garden.

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