In just his 15th fight as a professional boxer, Oleksandr Gvozdyk has put himself in position to challenge for a world title.
Gvozdyk defeated Mehdi Amar by unanimous decision (117-111, 116-112, 118-110) to win the interim WBC light heavyweight title. The fight was the opening bout of a Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card taking place at Madison Square Garden.
The new interim champion did not have much trouble in fighting Amar. Gvozdyk's jab constantly put him in a position to land strong right hand punches and almost got a knockdown in the fourth round when Amar was on the ropes. Amar managed to avoid the knockdown, but he barely managed to put Gvozdyk in danger at any point in the fight. Regardless, Amar managed to go the distance as Gvozdyk continued to rain down punches on Amar.
Almost 1,000 punches were thrown by Gvozdyk, connecting on 256 of 960 total punches (27 percent), according to CompuBox. Amar only managed to land 135 of 536 total punches (25 percent).
Gvozdyk is now in line to fight for the full world title, currently held by Adonis Stevenson. Stevenson is scheduled to fight former two-division world champion Badou Jack on a Showtime-televised fight in Canada on May 19. The winner of that fight would then likely be ordered to fight Gvozdyk.
The original fight was supposed to pit Gvozdyk vs. Eleider Alvarez, the mandatory challenger to the title, but Alvarez withdrew from the fight, expressing frustrations with not getting to fight Stevenson. That opened up an opportunity for Amar to fight for the interim title.