“Don’t shake me once.” Oleksandr Gvozdyk details sparring with Canelo


Former champion of the light heavyweight division (up to 79.4 kg) from Ukraine Alexander Gvozdyk gave
interview for the YouTube channel “Viktor Yalymov’s Boxing Studio”.

During the conversation, Alexander answered questions about sparring with the absolute champion of the second middleweight (up to 76.2 kg) Mexican Canelo Alvarez (57-2-2, 39 KOs). Recall that Gvozdik was a constant sparring partner in Canelo’s preparation for the fight with the WBA “super champion” from the Russian Federation Dmitry Bivol (20-0, 11 KOs), which the Mexican sensationally lost on points in May.

– Tell me, how long were you in Canelo’s camp?

— I worked at the camp for 2 months. Sparring three times a week. I was only sparring. I came to sparring, worked and left.

How many rounds did you actually go with Canelo?

— Well, taking into account the fact that I was not alone, there were many different guys. That is, it was from three to five. There were no less than three and no more than five. Three, four, five when he’s on schedule.

– And how did you feel after these rounds, could you continue?

– I will say this, the first sparring is three rounds and just really oh-oh-oh, how hard. And you breathe … Excuse me, 3 years without work – and immediately you go to work with a person, in fact, at the top level. I won’t say that he keeps some kind of brutal crazy pace in sparring, but it was still quite difficult. And, let’s just say, the second month I felt absolutely comfortable. That is, you go the distance with him and feel that you can go further. The other guys just come in.

— How many guys were in the camp?

– There were three regulars, including me, and some guys came, sometimes they changed. Someone came for a week, someone for two, and someone even once. In general, I saw 8 people during the camp, but there were 3 permanent partners who were from start to finish.

  • Oleksandr Gvozdyk decided to return to the ring

– Did you come and how many rounds did Canelo lead from the very beginning?

– Probably, it would be wrong of me to tell some subtleties of his preparation, but I will say that I came and saw something that is very different in terms of the very structure of the training. Not exactly what you do in the ring or on the mitts, but in the structure of the workout. They have certain differences. I don’t want to talk about them. Perhaps this is some kind of know-how, or something else, but I, for example, have not seen anything like it. Nothing amazing, but very unusual.

– The time of the rounds was 3 minutes and a minute of rest, everything is standard?

– We were standard – 3-1.

– What else was so interesting in sparring that could surprise you?

– On the first day, he stood 12 rounds. I’ll tell you so. I won’t say anything more.

How powerful is his punch?

– He definitely does not suffer from a lack of power in the light heavyweights. I can’t call him a killer puncher, but he hits. He has a very explosive blow, very biting, probably not so much heavy as explosive. If he hits, then there will be problems. He showed it with the same Kovalev. I don’t think he lacks power at this weight.

When you stand in a pair with him, there is no such feeling that you are directly standing with an easy guy. He has enough strength. Again, I repeat, he is not a strong man, this is not his strong side in this weight, but you do not feel that you are standing with a light weight.

  • “Alvarez helped him a lot in the fight.” Gvozdik on Canelo vs. Bivol and Golovkin

– In sparring with Canelo, what have you not seen before?

– The defensive performance is very good. It’s very hard to hit him hard. That’s it, he practically does not miss clean blows. He misses jabs, misses some punches, but he either softens them, but he sees them all. I was not able to fool him to shake him somehow, or hit him hard so that he did not expect. I didn’t manage to do this with him, let’s say, for 2 months. It was possible for anyone … I would have hit it tight at least once. Here it is so tight to shake, I didn’t hit for all sparring even once. Yes, he hit, hit hard enough, but it seems to me that he controlled everything, he saw everything. It was impossible to get him out of balance, out of his focus. Again, this may be a lack of my skills or form.

– And in terms of attack, did he surprise you with something?

– I don’t really have one. He is well prepared, hits sharply, hard. Left side he throws very unexpectedly. I caught a couple of these that I even felt them. But to say that something is super outstanding – no, there was nothing like that. Impressed with good protection most of all. He is tough. But I stood with the guys and tougher. Probably, yes, he is not a natural light heavyweight.

– And the blows to the shoulders, to the biceps, how was it with this?

— This is what caused problems in the early days. Because he’s not ready for it. Yes, he really hits in the shoulder, it hurts, then it becomes unpleasant to throw a jab. Just because your hand is already withered. I will say, probably, for the first 2 weeks, all the guys who were there came out with blue shoulders. And then, after a while, you get used to it. I think in this regard he overestimated the effectiveness of these punches in the fight with Bivol, because he hit the whole fight, in fact, in the shoulders. This is perhaps a good weapon to prepare the opponent to dry his hand, so that he lowers it, and hits him in the head. But Bivol did not let her down.

Meanwhile, promoter Eddie Hearn revealed that Alvarez was told to prepare a rematch with Bivol.