WBC Light Heavyweight champion Oleksandr “The Nail” Gvozdyk was successful in down the first defense of his WBC light heavyweight world title, beating Doudou Ngumbu in the fifth round in front of a sold-out crowd of 1,500 at the 2300 Arena in Philadephia Saturday Night. His first defense of the title since winning it from Adonis Stevenson last December closed out the Top Rank Boxing card televised on ESPN.
Gvozdyk (17-0, 14 KOs) who was heavily favored to win the fight has been in control for most of it until the injury occurred to Ngumbu in the fifth round. Throughout the mostly one-sided fight, Gvozdyk landed and connected on more punches as he landed 47 of 204 punches, while Ngumbu only landed 18 of 108. He was declared victorious by technical-knockout because Ngumbu suffered a prohibitive injury stopping the match.
“It wasn’t what I expected, but I did my best,” Gvozdyk said. “Sometimes this happens in the sport of boxing. It is what it is.”
“My goal is to unify titles. I will wait to see what my team tells me to do next.”
Ngumbu (38-9, 14 KOs) injured his right calf in the 5th round after some initial confusion and language barriers, he could not continue, forcing referee Eric Dali to stop the fight giving Gvozdyk the victory by technical knockout. Until the bizarre injury happened, he seemed game for the first round but as the bout went on seemed overmatched. While he had some success in the third round landing a few hooks by the fourth round as Gvozdyk was landing more powerful shots, forcing Ngumbu to fight from a distance and to stay out of harm’s way.
The 38-year-old Ngumbu had come into Saturday’s fight with eight losses, but he had lost by knockout just once in his 12-year pro career. The loss, also a fifth-round stoppage, came against France’s Nadjib Mohammedi back in June 2015.