Former WBC light heavyweight champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk is only interested in sparring after retiring at 33.
Following a traumatic fight with Adonis Stevenson in December 2018, Gvozdyk found it challenging to move on. A defeat to Artur Beterbiev just 18 months later was the final straw.
Despite being his only defeat from 18 fights, “The Nail” moved on from competitive action for good. Most recently, the talented now 35-year-old worked as a sparring partner for Gilberto Ramirez.
“Zurdo” lost to Dmitry Bivol after spending time in camp with Gvozdyk.
Stevenson suffered life-threatening injuries during the bout and almost died. It’s a miracle “Superman” can do the things he can get these days.
Gzovdyk did appear in the ring twice after the Stevenson trauma. However, his only victory came against Doudou Ngumbu via fifth-round knockout.
Light heavyweight champ
During the event, Gvozdyk indicated how Stevenson’s injuries affected him.
“I’m glad that Adonis is okay. I didn’t even know what happened to him until we heard something bad happened the following day.
“I don’t want to be known as a killer. We’re all fighters, and people like to blame someone. People blamed the referee [Michael Griffin]. Some people said it was a bad stoppage. It wasn’t.
“Stevenson hits really, really hard. He’s a great puncher. He hurt me in round ten. I was the one in trouble.
“He’s a tough fighter and a hard puncher. It’s the bad side of boxing. We all put our lives on the line. It’s the speck of dirt in a bowl of honey.
“I’m happy to hear that he’s okay today.”
In 2020, Gvozdyk hung up his gloves to “pursue business opportunities” during the coronavirus outbreak.
Rather than wait until crowds returned to the sport, Gvozdyk immediately looked into ventures outside of boxing.
Oleksandr Gvozdyk ‘change of heart’
Manager Egis Klimas hoped the Ukrainian would have a change of heart. So far, it hasn’t happened despite spending time in the ring as a sparring partner.
“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 simultaneously,” Klimas told ESPN. “So he needs to give himself 100% to boxing or business. So he decided to do that.
“What kept him from moving away from boxing, that motivation to go back into the ring, was Beterbiev,” added Klimas about 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.”
Top Rank’s Bob Arum also released a statement at the time.
“It’s been a pleasure for us to have promoted Oleksandr Gvozdyk,” said Bob Arum in a statement about the light heavyweight star. “Not only did he prove himself to be a great fighter, but he is also one of the most highly intelligent boxers we have had the pleasure of promoting.
“Thankfully, we worked well together with him and led 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.”