By John DiSanto at ringside
Photos: Darryl Cobb Jr.
WBC light heavyweight champion Oleksandr “The Nail” Gvozdyk, 17-0, 14 KOs, defended his title for the first time with a strange TKO of Doudou Ngumbu, France, 38-9, 14 KOs, in round five on Saturday night at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia. Gvozdyk was leading on the cards when suddenly Ngumbo pulled back in round five, complaining of an injury to his right calf. The bout was paused while the doctor, the fighter, and his corner conferred. After a few minutes, referee Eric Dali waved the fight over, and it was announced that Ngumbo could not continue due to injury. The time was 58 seconds of the fifth.
At the time of the stoppage, Gvozdyk had landed 47 of 204 punches, while Ngumbu landed 18 of 108.
“It wasn’t what I expected, but I did my best,” Gvozdyk said afterward. “Sometimes this happens in the sport of boxing. It is what it is. My goal is to unify titles. I will wait to see what my team tells me to do next.”