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Oleksandr Gvozdyk-Doudou Ngumbu in the works for March 30th

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Gvozdyk knocked out Adonis Stevenson for the belt in December

Jose Ramirez v Amir Imam Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

WBC light heavyweight mandatory challenger Marcus Browne will have to be patient. Newly minted champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk has reportedly agreed to a March 30th voluntary defense against French veteran Doudou Ngumbu at Philadelphia’s 2300 Arena. Lance Pugmire was the first to break the news, as far as I can tell, with ESPN’s Dan Rafael corroborating it earlier today.

Ngumbu (38-8, 14 KO), the WBC #8, is the definition of “middle of the pack,” doing well against moderate opposition but falling short in every attempt to step up. His current 4-1 run includes wins over then-unbeaten Bilal Laggoune and Yoann Kongolo surrounding a second loss to Igor Mikhalkin.

He’s quite difficult to finish, surviving to the bell in seven of his eight defeats, but that’s pretty much all he has to offer Gvozdyk (16-0, 13 KO), who graduated from this level of opposition around 2016. Hopefully “The Nail” takes care of things without issue and gets the Browne fight booked before the middle of the year.