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Gvozdyk-Amar set to battle for interim WBC title

Oleksandr Gvozdyk and Mehdi Amar will meet on March 17.

Vasyl Lomachenko v Jason Sosa Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images

Light heavyweight contenders Oleksandr Gvozdyk (14-0, 12 KOs) and Mehdi Amar (34-5-2, 16 KOs) have just been scheduled to meet in a interim title fight, per an ESPN report. After Eleider Alvarez pulled out of a mandated fight with Gvozdyk, Amar — the next leading available contender — was willing to fill-in for a shot at the WBC strap.

The fight has been scheduled for March 17 at the Theater at Madison Square Garden, which will be aired on ESPN as part of the undercard for a junior welterweight title fight between Amir Imam and Jose Ramirez.

“We are trading paperwork with Amar’s management, but the fight is agreed to,” Carl Moretti, vice president of Gvozdyk promoter Top Rank, told ESPN on Thursday. “Gvozdyk relishes the opportunity to fight for the interim belt and he’s more locked in than a CPA on April 14.”

Eleider Alvarez has been Adonis Stevenson’s mandatory challenger for a while now, but decided to take some step aside money to allow Stevenson to take on Badou Jack this May. But with Alvarez then pulling out of an ordered fight with Gvozdyk, the WBC has ruled that the Stevenson-Jack and Gvozdyk-Amar winners will need to go head-to-head. Alvarez will, however, still maintain his mandatory challenger position once those other fights shake out.

Gvozdyk, 30, is most recently coming off a TKO win over Craig Baker last August, his 8th stoppage in a row. He expressed his unbridled enthusiasm in closing in on a chance to fight for the full world title.

“I can’t explain my excitement of how happy I am seeing some bright light at the end of tunnel,” he said. “It means I am getting one more step to a world title shot. Fighting for the interim title and mandatory position in the WBC will bring me in position to fight the champion, whoever it will be at that time. I would like to thank the WBC for giving me this opportunity, my promoter Top Rank, my manager, Egis Klimas, all my team who is working hard to get me in this position.

Meanwhile Amar, 35, is a French fighter who has never fought outside of Europe. He mostly recently took a decision last November over some guy named Otar Gogoberishvili, who now has a 7-6-2 record. Needless to say, Amar hasn’t faced anyone with the talent of Gvozdyk, and in the few times he did step up in competition, he’s lost to fighters such as Robert Stieglitz, Nadjib Mohammedi, and Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam.

Expect Gvozdyk to roll in this one...

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