Cruiserweight titleholder Oleksandr Usyk added to Vasyl Lomachenko card

Junior lightweight world titleholder Vasyl Lomachenko, the two-time Ukrainian Olympic gold medalist, will have two of his good friends and Olympic teammates -- cruiserweight titleholder Oleksandr Usyk and light heavyweight contender Oleksandr Gvozdyk -- joining him on his next card.

While Lomachenko (7-1, 5 KOs) will defend his 130-pound belt against former titlist Jason Sosa (20-1-4, 15 KOs) in the previously announced main event on April 8 (HBO, 10 p.m. ET/PT) at new MGM National Harbor resort in Oxon Hill, Maryland, Usyk will make his second title defense against Michael Hunter in the co-feature and Gvozdyk will defend his regional belt against Yunieski Gonzalez in the 10-round opener, Top Rank announced on Thursday.

"I'm very happy to fight on the same card with Vasyl Lomachenko and Oleksandr Gvozdyk. This is something we've been talking about since we were amateurs -- to have three members of the 2012 Ukrainian Olympic team in the same event," Usyk said. "It's fantastic to be able to do this. I would like to thank my promoters Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko, Alexander Krassyuk and Tom Loeffler from K2 Promotions along with my manager Egis Klimas and HBO, and also Bob Arum and Top Rank for adding me to this show.

"Michael Hunter is a tough, undefeated opponent and I'm certain that this will be a great show for the fans in attendance and those watching on HBO."

Usyk, who won 2012 Olympic gold, will be fighting for the first time since parting ways with trainer James Ali Bashir in favor of working with Anatoly Lomachenko, Vasyl's father and trainer.

In September, the 30-year-old Usyk (11-0, 10 KOs) set the cruiserweight division record for fewest fights needed to win a world title when he broke Evander Holyfield's mark of 12 by outpointing Krzysztof Glowacki to win a 200-pound belt in his 10th professional bout, doing so in Glowacki's home country of Poland.

Usyk made his first defense on Dec. 17, scoring three knockdowns en route to ninth-round knockout of South Africa's Thabiso Mchunu on the Bernard Hopkins-Joe Smith Jr. undercard at The Forum in Inglewood, California.

Now he will take on Hunter (12-0, 8 KOs), 28, of Las Vegas, who was on the 2012 U.S. Olympic team but did not qualify to compete in London. He is coming off a career-best win last May, when he won a near-shutout 10-round decision against previously undefeated Isiah Thomas.

"I'm excited for this fight because I asked for it," Hunter said. "If I don't knock him out, I'll be surprised."

The 29-year-old Gvozdyk (12-0, 10 KOs), who won an Olympic bronze medal at the 2012 London Games, has moved quickly as a pro. He stamped himself a bona fide contender in his last fight by knocking out former title challenger Isaac Chilemba in the eighth round on the Andre Ward-Sergey Kovalev undercard in November.

"I'm happy to know the name of my next opponent. He is a strong fighter and a new challenge for me," Gvozdyk said.

Gonzalez (18-2, 14 KOs) is a formidable fighter whose two losses were both quite controversial. In 2015, Gonzalez, 31, a Cuban defector living in Miami, lost a disputed 10-round decision to former light heavyweight world champion Jean Pascal on HBO and then, later in the year, dropped a majority decision to then-undefeated Vyacheslav Shabranskyy. Gonzalez has won both of his fights since by knockout.

"I'm very happy to be back on HBO thanks to Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing, and my management team," said Gonzalez. "I'm training hard at Mundo Boxing Gym, and I'm going to be ready to win this fight."