WBC light heavyweight champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk successfully defended his title tonight on ESPN, but in rather awkward fashion as challenger Doudou Ngumbu suffered a non-contact injury to his right leg in the fifth round, ending the fight. BLH had Gvozdyk winning all the rounds up until the fight was officially stopped at 0:58 in Round 5.
Gvozdyk (17-0, 14 KOs) started off in complete control of the fight, using his sharp jabs and right hands to the head and body against Ngumbu (38-9, 14 KOs),who used a herky-jerky style to make things a little difficult for Gvozdyk.
In all honesty it didn’t seem like Ngumbu was really fighting to win as much as he wanted to just put up a valiant effort, and then in the fifth round Ngumbu was just circling the ring when his right leg tightened up and he turned his back on the fight. The fight probably should’ve been ruled a TKO for Gvozdyk immediately under the circumstances, but the referee said he would give Ngumbu 5 minutes to try to recover and continue in the fight. That decision was particularly bizarre because there was no accidental foul that should’ve afforded Ngumbu a break in the action.
Either way, after a couple of minutes and a mini-conference between officials sitting ringside, the fight was eventually waved off as a TKO as Ngumbu couldn’t continue. Ngumbu looked upset about the way the fight ended as he sat injured in the corner.
In the post-fight interview Gvozdyk admitted that he really didn’t know what happened that ended the fight, but that ‘it is what it is’ and he’s just content to leave as the champion. Gvozdyk didn’t pick out a particular opponent who he’d like to face next, but did say he wants to unify titles.
Final CompuBox stats has Gvozdyk landing 47 of 204 total punches (23%) while Ngumbu landed 18 of 108 total punches (16.7%).