The Vasyl Lomachenko Vs Jason Sosa junior lightweight world championship event has become an embarrassment of Ukrainian riches with the addition of two title fights. Undefeated WBO cruiserweight world champion and Olympic gold medalist Oleksandr Usyk and NABF light heavyweight champion and Olympic bronze medalist Oleksandr Gvozdyk will be defending their titles against Mike Hunter and Yunieskyi Gonzalez , respectively, in co-main event battles, Saturday, April 8, at The Theater at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, MD.
The Lomachenko, Usyk and Gvozdyk championship Ukrainian tripleheader will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing, beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
The six televised championship fighters boast a combined record of 80-4-4 (62 KOs), good for a winning percentage of 91% with over 3/4 of those victories coming by way of knockout.
“I’m very happy to fight on the same card with Vasyl Lomachenko and Oleksandr Gvozdyk, this is something we’ve been talking about since we were amateurs -- to have three members of the 2012 Ukrainian Olympic Team in the same event," said Usyk. "It’s fantastic to be able to do this. I would like to thank my promoters Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko, Alexander Krassyuk and Tom Loeffler from K2 Promotions along with my manager Egis Klimas and HBO, and also Bob Arum and Top Rank for adding me to this show. Michael Hunter is a tough, undefeated opponent and I’m certain that this will be a great show for the fans in attendance and those watching on HBO.”
“I’m excited for this fight because I asked for it. If I don’t knock him out, I’ll be surprised," said Hunter.
"I’m happy to know the name of my next opponent. He is a strong fighter and a new challenge for me," said Gvozdyk. "Thanks to Top Rank and HBO to making this happen.
“I’m very happy to be back on HBO thanks to Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing, and my management team," said Gonzalez. "I’m training hard at Mundo Boxing Gym and I’m going to be ready to win this fight”
"Top Rank is very proud to present these two compelling co-main event championship fights featuring Oleksandr Usyk, with K2 Promotions, and Oleksandr Gvozdyk," said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum. "In a historic first, HBO World Championship Boxing will present three title fights, featuring three Ukrainian champions defending their titles, and within eyesight of the Nation’s Capital."
“We’re very excited to bring Oleksandr back to the United States and for this world title defense to be telecast on HBO,” said Tom Loeffler, Managing Director of K2 Promotions. “Both Oleksandr and Michael Hunter were 2012 Olympians who are undefeated as professionals. This is the second cruiserweight world title fight HBO has telecast recently and we’re honored to work with Peter Nelson and HBO on showcasing this division. Not since the epic battle between James Toney and Vasily Jirov in 2003 has the cruiserweight division been showcased on HBO and we’re very proud to present fans entertaining fights in this weight class.”
"We are very grateful to our partner and close friend Peter Nelson for giving the U.S. fans such an opportunity to watch this upcoming star, Oleksandr Usyk, live on HBO. It will be a unique event in the history of Ukraine when three Ukrainian boxers battle on the same HBO fight card,” said Alexander Krassyuk of K2 Promotions Ukraine. “Oleksandr Usyk is an absolutely extraordinary boxer. We expect a spectacular show and of course a flawless victory against the undefeated contender Michael Hunter. The whole country of Ukraine is looking forward to watching this event live.”
“I’m very happy and thankful to K2 Promotions and Top Rank along with HBO to be able to present Lomachenko, Usyk and Gvozdyk on one special night,” said Egis Klimas, manager of Usyk.
"So happy and thankful to our promoter Top Rank and HBO for bringing Gvozdyk back in the ring on April 8th," added Klimas, who also manages Gvozdyk. "In his last fight, on HBO Pay-Per-View when he fought Isaac Chilemba, Gvozdyk proved he was a quality fighter who belongs on TV battling the best fighters in the light heavyweight division. Gonzalez is a good fighter, fans will see good show and Gvozdyk will be able to show everyone his world-class skills."
”I am looking forward to April 8 and this exciting HBO show," said Joe DeGuardia, promoter for Gonzalez. "Yuniesky Gonzalez once again will be stepping into the ring with a world class and very dangerous light heavyweight in Gvozdvk. However, Yuniesky is one tough, fan-friendly fighter and, with his new trainer Pedro Diaz, he is a very confident. Yuniesky will be appearing for the third time on the HBO network and you can be sure that everyone will be in for one heck of a fight”.
Usyk (11-0, 10 KOs), from Kiev, Ukraine, and a 2012 Olympic gold medalist, captured the WBO cruiserweight world title in his 10th professional bout, a division record for winning a world title in the fewest fights. Usyk dethroned Krzysztof Glowacki via unanimous decision on September 17, 2016, ending the undefeated defending champion’s two-year reign. In his last fight, on December 17, Usky made his U.S. and HBO debut, successfully defending his title by knocking out world-rated contender Thabiso Mchunu in the ninth round. Considered the class of the division, Usyk trains in Oxnard, Calif. under the tutelage of Anatoly Lomachenko, father/trainer of Vasyl Lomachenko.
Hunter (12-0, 8 KOs), of Las Vegas, Nev. and a member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic team, has won five of his last seven bouts inside the distance. He scored a career-best victory in his last fight, on May 13, 2016, winning a 10-round unanimous decision over the previously undefeated Isiah Thomas to capture the NABO cruiserweight title. Hunter is currently world-rated No. 9 by the WBO
Gvozdyk (12-0, 10 KOs), from Kharkiv, Ukraine, enters this fight having won 10 of his last 12 fights by knockout, including all three of his NABF light heavyweight title fights. A bronze medalist at the 2012 Olympics, Gvozdyk captured the vacant NABF title with a second-round knockout of Nadjib Mohammedi on April 9, 2016. He successfully defended that title twice last year scoring a sixth-round TKO of Thomas Karpency on June 23 and an eighth-round stoppage of Izek Chilemba on November 19. He enters this fight world-rated No. 6 by the WBO and the WBC, and, No. 7 by the IBF.
Gonzalez (18-2, 14 KOs), a native of Pinar del Rio, Cuba, who lives and trains in Miami, Fla. with Pedro Diaz, has collected his last nine victories by way of knockout. His only blemishes are a very disputed decision loss to former WBC light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal and a majority decision loss to Vyacheslav Shabransky in 2015. Last year Gonzalez won both his fights by stoppage.