Oleksandr “The Nail” Gvozdyk (11-0, 9 KOs) is prepping for his upcoming fight with Isaac “Golden Boy” Chilemba (24-4-2, 10 KOs) for the NABF Light Heavyweight Title on the Kovalev-Ward “Pound For Pound” HBO Pay-Per-View televised undercard, live from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Training for this upcoming bout with Chilemba, Gvozdyk has been in camp with Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev and had this to say about his preparation for this mega-fight:
“My training camp is going good. I am almost finished with my conditional part of preparation, where we are working on strength, speed and stamina. Next week I’ll be more focused on developing special skills and tactics. I’m satisfied with all results which I get during the preparation, and will keep following my game plan.”
A Ukrainian Olympic bronze medalist for Ukraine, Oleksandr hails from Kharkov, Ukraine, but moved to Oxnard with his wife and three children to pursue his professional career. “The Nail” misses his hometown and tries to visit as much as possible.
Question: What have you learned sparring with Kovalev this training camp?
Gvozdyk: It is very great experience for me. He is a great fighter. When you train with a strong fighter you getting stronger.
Q: Oddsmakers have this fight 50-50. What do you think about the match-up?
OG: This is fight between intelligence and power. But Sergey is smart as well. Both fighters is tough. Both fighters have proved that they are the best. Now we will figure out who is the best pound for pound.
Q: You have never gone past the sixth round in a professional fight. Chilemba just went the distance against the Krusher. What is your game plan if you can’t stop him early on and the fight has to go the distance?
OG: I always train for the fight to go the full distance. This fight if I can stop him earlier it is ok but if not I will be ready to go whole distance.
Q: After his fight with Kovalev, Sergey said Chilemba was frustrating him because he was difficult to hit. How will you alter your plan if you can’t land the big shots?
OG: I will try to finish him if I can. If I can’t, I will try to box him and get the decision.
Q: Kovalev-Ward is arguably the biggest fight of the year. Is there added pressure fighting on this big stage?
OG: Not really. My only fight is against Chilemba. I am not going to fight against audience; I am going to fight against Chilemba.
Q: You were knocked down in the first round by Karpency. What turned the tide and allowed you to come back and stop him?
OG: I was in the first round and I came in without a game plan. It was just my mistake. I learned from this experience. I hope I will not repeat the same mistakes.
Q: Have you changed anything about your training camp to prepare for Chilemba?
OG: I am not change a lot. I try to prepare for each fight the same but I also try to include something or add something new. This camp was no exception. I added some physical work and some rounds in sparring. Little things.
Q: Chilemba has nearly three times as many professional fights as you. Do you think his experience will give him an edge?
OG: Maybe he has some edge in pro fights but I also have 250 fights in amateurs. So I think it can be even. We will see in the ring.