Ukrainian Dream Team Hitting Strides

Vasyl Lomachenko looks to defend his WBO 130 lbs. title this weekend against WBA-regular champion Jason Sosa. After comprising a legendary 396-1 record in the amateurs, which culminated in winning two Olympic gold medals as well as two world championships, Lomachenko decided to turn professional in seek of more glory. His attempts to be the first fighter in history to become a world champion in only his second fight fell just short, losing to Orlando Salido in a close split decision bout. He rebounded by defeating the highly touted Gary Russell Jr for the vacant WBO featherweight title in June 2014, tying Saensak Muangsurin as the fastest fighters to win world titles in only their third professional fights. Lomachenko then proceeded to move up to the junior lightweight division in June 2016, knocking out Roman Martinez in the fifth round for the WBO title. His last outing was against former WBA featherweight champion Nicholas Walters, which saw the technical volume puncher befuddle the proud Jamaican champion and made him quit on his stool at the end of round seven.

Oleksandr Usyk looks to defend his WBO 200 lbs. title this weekend against former Olympian Michael Hunter. Winning the 2011 amateur World Championships and 2012 Olympic gold medal as a cruiserweight, Usyks joined his Ukrainian compatriots in the semi-pro World Series of Boxing as a heavyweight. Without losing a single round in his entire WSB campaign, Usyk beat every single heavyweight in his path, including three heavyweights that participated the Rio Olympics while capitulating over 30 pounds. He officially turned professional in November 2013 with a fifth TKO win over Felipe Romero. In September 2016, in his tenth fight, Usyk outboxed WBO titlist Krzysztof Glowacki and broke Evander Holyfield’s record for quickest fighter to ever win a world title in the cruiserweight division. His last outing was against Thabiso Mchunu, Usyk overcame a slow start and methodically broke Mchunu down for a ninth round stoppage.

Unbeaten light-heavyweight Oleksandr Gvozdyk looks to extend his win streak against Yuliesky Gonzalez. After a stellar amateur career (220-30) which disappointingly ended on the losing end of a controversial decision in the London Olympics to eventual silver medalist Adilbek Niyazymbatov and a WSB campaign, Gvozdyk made his pro debut in April 2014. With a versatile offense, quick hands along with spectacular timing, Gvozdyk has built an impressive records over several former world title challengers, such as Nadjib Mohammedi, Tom Karpency and being the first to stop the durable Issac Chilemba.

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