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Former champ Oleksandr Gvozdyk retires from boxing at 33

The former 175-pound titleholder lost what would be his final fight.

WBO light heavyweight title bout in Las Vegas: Canelo Alvarez vs Sergey Kovalev Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Oleksandr Gvozdyk, a former Olympic bronze medalist and WBC light heavyweight titleholder in the pro ranks, has decided to retire from boxing at the age of 33, ESPN reports.

Manager Egis Klimas tells ESPN that Gvozdyk has decided to give himself fully to “business opportunities.”

The Ukrainian fighter won bronze at London 2012 and fought in the World Series of Boxing from 2011-13, going 9-0 in that competition. He turned pro with Top Rank in 2014, and by 2016-17 was beating the likes of Tommy Karpency, Isaac Chilemba, Yunieski Gonzalez, and Craig Baker, all by stoppage.

He got his first world title fight in Dec. 2018, going on the road in Quebec City to face long-reigning WBC titlist Adonis Stevenson. Gvozdyk, working with trainer Teddy Atlas, was trailing on two of three official cards going into the 11th round, when he scored a knockout win. Stevenson was badly injured, and though he’s seemingly recovered to a degree, he’ll never box again.

An odd title defense over Doudou Ngumbu followed in Mar. 2019, before a unification fight last October against IBF titleholder Artur Beterbiev. Gvozdyk and Beterbiev made for a great style clash on paper, and delivered a very good, highly competitive fight, but Beterbiev’s relentless pressure broke Gvozdyk down in the 10th round. Gvozdyk went down three times and the fight was stopped.

It appears that will be the last fight of Gvozdyk’s career. It’s boxing and he’s not an old man or too badly hurt to get a license, so obviously he could fight again — we’ve seen a million retirements not stick, after all — but if he doesn’t fight again, he’ll leave a pro record of 17-1 (14 KO).

If this really is it for Gvozdyk, we join promoter Bob Arum and former trainer Teddy Atlas in wishing him all the best, and saying happy trails to him for his post-boxing life.

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