By Marc Livitz: Oleksandr “The Nail” Gvozdyk is quickly becoming a popular attraction in boxing and his knockout skills are part of the reason why.
Oleksandr “The Nail” Gvozdyk is quickly becoming a popular attraction in boxing and his knockout skills are part of the reason why. However, on Saturday evening at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, he didn’t have to rely on a solid punch to stop Doudou Ngumbu in the fifth round. Rather, his opponent who grew up in the same city which hosted “The Rumble in the Jungle” so many years ago was forced to quit after a calf injury ended his outing early in the fifth round.
As for Gvozdyk (17-0, 14 KO’s), the unbeaten WBC Light Heavyweight champion from Ukraine stepped back into the ring for the first time since his eleventh round stoppage victory over Adonis Stevenson last December, which unfortunately resulted in serious hospitalization for the fallen former titleholder.
To his credit, Ngumbu (38-9, 14 KO’s) looked for openings early and did his best to not succumb to any fear he may have felt towards his opponent from Kharkov. Gvozdyk connected with a solid right hand in the closing minute and he remained patient as the second was underway, as it would take him a bit of time to adjust and predict the movement of the quickly moving Frenchman. Doudou scored a quick one-two to the body and head of the champion, yet it did nothing more than tear the air as “The Nail” was beginning to look more towards body shots.
Oleksandr continued to press in the third, yet he wasn’t moving his head and the 2012 Bronze Medalist absorbed a pair of overhand rights from Ngumbu. Despite his impressive knockout record and an amateur career with over 200 bouts, some fundamentals were missing early on for the champion, though he was clearly ahead at this point. He connected with a few head shots midway into the fourth which briefly put Doudou into a corner. They traded shots later in the period, after which Ngumbu shuffled his feet and torso, perhaps in an attempt to taunt the champion.
In the fifth, much of what had previously transpired continued, as Gvozdyk was the aggressor and DouDou the possum. After a quickly broken clinch by referee Eric Dali and less than a minute into the round, Ngumbu winced in pain and indicated that his lower right leg was in pain. The Democratic Republic of Congo native was given a few moments to walk it off or stretch, yet the bout was ultimately waved to a halt at the :58 mark to award the official TKO win to Oleksandr Gvozdyk.
Additional Results from Philadelphia
Welterweight Ray Robinson D 10 Egidijus Kavaliauskas
Welterweight Juan Ruiz TKO 4 Fredrick Lawson
Middleweight Christian Mbilli UD 8 Humberto Ochoa
Photo credit: Top Rank