I am definitely going to win, no matter what. Whatever they bring to the ring, I will crash it into pieces. I am ready for it.”
These were bold words from Malawian boxing icon Isaac ‘Golden Boy’ Chilemba ahead of his North America Boxing Federation (Nabf) light heavyweight 10-round title bout against reigning champion Oleksandr ‘The Nail’ Gvozdyk in the wee hours of tomorrow.
Like former world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali at the prime of his athletic powers, the ‘Golden Boy’ has vowed to sting like a bee and float like a butterfly as he seeks to reclaim the belt at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, USA in the wee hours of today.
Speaking in an interview from the US on Thursday, the 29-year-old revered Malawian boxer, said: “Preparations went 120 percent great, I am in great shape and ready to rumble. Bring him [Gvozdyk] over!”
Chilemba (24-4-2, 10 KOs), said he is not bothered with his opponent’s (11-0, 9 KOs) record.
“He is highly rated and undefeated as a pro, but that doesn’t worry me. Everything has it’s own time and I guess this is it.
“This is the fight that will take me back into the top five in the world rankings. I am now rated 10th from the second position I was just a year ago following the back-to-back losses I suffered in title bouts [against Sergey Kovalev and Eleider Alvarez],” he said.
Nevertheless, the impressive distinction as only the second fighter in Kovalev’s career to go the full 12 rounds stands out and in doing so, Chilemba managed to raise more than a few eyebrows among boxing fans and media.
Chilemba, a former IBO super-middleweight and WBC International light-heavyweight champion, also said having his childhood idol Roy Jones Jnr as his trainer has been a great inspiration.
This fight will be the first time he will be working with his new trainer and legendary fighter, who told mainevents.com that: “Isaac is a very exciting fighter with a lot of upside. I am very excited to be training him and be part of his team now. I look forward to seeing much bigger and better things from him in the future. He is fighting a very good opponent so we look forward to this challenge.”
According to mainevents.com, Gvozdyk, who ironically is also 29, despite having only 11 professional bouts, he is a top-ten ranked light heavyweight in the WBC, WBO and IBF.
Asked on what Chilemba needs to do in this fight in order to win, Jones told boxingnews.24.com that: “He’s got to disrupt Gvozdyk. He can’t let Gvozdyk fight at his own pace. He can’t let Gvozdyk constantly push him backwards so he’s gotta make Gvozdyk change, make Gvozdyk do things he does not like to do.
“Chilemba must prevent Gvozdyk’s control of the power of the jab and setting up the big right hand.”
Since making his professional debut in 2014, Oleksandr has defeated the first 11 opponents he has faced, stopping nine of them for an impressive 82 percent knockout-to-win ratio.
In his last bout, Gvozdyk secured his fifth straight stoppage and made his first successful defence of his NabfLight Heavyweight Title against Tommy Karpency in Las Vegas in July.
Chilemba’s bout which is under the light heavyweight WBO, WBA Super and IBF title fight between Kovalev and Andre Ward card, will start at 2am local time and is expected to be beamed on SuperSport.