Former WBC light-heavyweight champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk was training for a return to action just two weeks prior to walking away at 33.
Gvozdyk has hung up his gloves in order to ‘pursue business opportunities’ but WBN understands the ongoing coronavirus crisis may have played a small part.
Rather than wait until crowds return to the sport, which could be between six and twelve months, Gvozdyk has decided to look into ventures outside of boxing immediately.
Manager Egis Klimas was cautious in discussing Gvozdyk’s shock announcement as the Ukrainian could have a change of heart.
“He’s a very smart guy, so he thinks it’s going to be inconvenient for him to do that kind of business and box at the same time,” Klimas told ESPN. “So he needs to give himself 100% to boxing or business. So he decided to do that.
“Actually, what kept him from moving away from boxing, that motivation to go back into the ring, was Beterbiev,” added Klimas in reference to suffering a stoppage loss to Artur Beterbiev in his previous bout.
“That was the only one holding him because he wanted to get that rematch. There might be a possibility that someone will get him a rematch, he might change his mind.”
The move comes just eighteen months after Adonis Stevenson suffered life-changing injuries at the hands of Gvozdyk in late 2018.
Stevenson almost died after severe trauma inflicting during the slugfest. ‘Superman’ was in a bad way for a long time after surrendering his green and gold belt to ‘The Nail’.
Whether that played a big part we may never find out that answer. But promoters Top Rank have wished Gvozdyk well in what he decides is next for him.
“It’s been a pleasure for us to have promoted Oleksandr Gvozdyk,” said Bob Arum in a statement. “Not only did he prove himself to be a great fighter, but he is also one of the most highly intelligent boxers that we have had the pleasure of promoting.
“Thankfully we worked well together with him and lead him to a world championship.
“He’s now bound and determined to pursue a business career, and a very important business opportunity.
“We know he will succeed because of his ability, character, and perseverance.
“Everybody at Top Rank wishes him the greatest good fortune in his next career.”