The mandatory fight between light heavyweight world champion Adonis Stevenson and interim titlist and mandatory challenger Oleksandr Gvozdyk will take place on Dec. 1 at the Videotron Centre in Quebec City, promoter Yvon Michel made official on Wednesday.
Stevenson (29-1-1, 24 KOs), one of boxing's most devastating punchers, will make his 10th title defense when he squares off with Gvozdyk (15-0-0, 12 KOs), who will go into the fight with famed cornerman Teddy Atlas as his trainer for the first time.
Stevenson, 41, of Montreal, and Gvozdyk, 31, who claimed a bronze medal for Ukraine at the 2012 Olympics and fights out of Oxnard, California, will meet head-to-head at a news conference scheduled for Oct. 9 in Quebec City.
Although Michel did not announce the American television outlet on Tuesday, both Michel and Showtime Sports president Stephen Espinoza previously told ESPN that Showtime would broadcast the fight.
The fight will take place on the same night that heavyweight world titleholder Deontay Wilder is scheduled to defend his belt against lineal champion Tyson Fury on Showtime PPV in the main event of a card that a source with direct involvement in the event told ESPN will take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. It had been a competition between Staples Center and Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, which also was very interested in hosting the bout. Staples Center will be announced as the venue during next week's three-city media tour to promote the fight.
To make the Dec. 1 television schedule work, Michel said that he, Showtime and Premier Boxing Champions officials have been talking about the timing of the shows and that the plan is to have a Showtime telecast begin at 7 p.m. ET with Stevenson-Gvozdyk fighting at about 8 p.m. ET to lead into the start of the pay-per-view telecast at 9 p.m. ET.
As for Stevenson-Gvozdyk, a marquee bout in the 175-pound weight class, Michel said, "We are very excited to be returning to the Videotron Center for this fifth (Stevenson) world championship defense in Quebec City, more than anyone else. The challenger is talented and seasoned. The danger is present, but the belt will remain with Quebecers. The challenge is colossal."
Stevenson has been heavily criticized throughout his five-year title reign for a less-than-spectacular list of opponents, but he will be taking on a top contender for the second fight in a row. He fought to a majority draw with former world titlist Badou Jack on May 19 in Toronto and now his mandatory fight with Gvozdyk is due, a fight Michel won promotional rights to at a purse bid by beating Gvozdyk promoter Top Rank.
"I know many believe December (will) be the end of my reign against this young undefeated Olympic medalist," Stevenson said. "The message I am prepared to send with this fight is I am still the No. 1 light heavyweight and I still have several chapters to add to my journey as world champion. Dec. 1st at the Videotron Center is a personal invitation to Quebec fans. You will not be let down. I will win by KO."
Gvozdyk, who parted ways with trainer Marco Contreras and convinced Atlas to return to training to work with him for the fight, won an interim title by outpointing France's Mehdi Amar on March 17 in New York and is excited to get his chance to fight Stevenson.
"I am one of the best boxers in the light heavyweight division and the time has come for me to prove it to the rest of you," Gvozdyk said. "The WBC gave me this opportunity and I am thankful for it. Adonis has been in this position too long. My time is now."