Light heavyweight contender Oleksandr Gvozdyk has agreed terms to fight David Benavidez in Las Vegas in June. 

Fight fans had been hoping Benavidez was ready to take the call from Canelo Alvarez to box in May, but Gvozdyk – "The Nail" – is now very much in the frame for Benavidez.

Former WBC champion Gvozdyk, 36, is currently at number two in the WBC rankings. Benavidez is unranked at 175 pounds, but he does hold the interim title at super middleweight.

“As they say, there is no smoke without fire,” Gvozdyk said in an exclusive interview. “They have made an offer, I have said ‘yes’ and now start working towards it. There is not much more that I can tell you, this only started happening yesterday. I’ve immediately said ‘yes’ and that is it so far.

“My trainer came to me and told me about this fight, I think it is awesome. This is why I came back to boxing, to fight at the top level. 

“I want to be champion again, and to fight for the mandatory position is amazing, it will then be for all four belts. It is perfect. I assume it will be pay-per-view, he’s one of the biggest names out there. It couldn’t be better for me. From what I know it will be in June or July.”

Benavidez is directly in line for boxing’s cash cow Canelo Alvarez. The 27-year-old is among the few names to face Canelo in his next bout, but Benavidez and his team have long talked of a move to 175 pounds. 

Gvozdyk’s only loss in his career to date came in a brutal 10-round defeat to Artur Beterbiev in Philadelphia in 2019 while 27-year-old Benavidez is undefeated in 28 fights.

“I don’t see why they would make me an offer if they are going to fight Canelo,” Gvozdyk added. “It doesn’t make sense, Canelo is going to fight in May, we would fight in June or July. Benavidez is a great fighter, he is still going to be very big at light heavyweight. People call him The Monster Bandera for a reason, come on. At 168 he was huge, but he will be bigger than me even at 175. 

“It will be a very tough fight and a very tough challenge.”

Sampson Lewkowicz, Benavidez’s manager, confirmed the proposed fight with Gvozdyk, 20-1 (16 KOs) was on the cards, but said no venue has been set. He also added that Canelo’s team had turned down $55m plus Mexican TV rights and a share of PPV profits, but the offer was declined.

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman wrote on X; “Very proud to announce a sensational fight which the WBC has approved to sanction for the interim light heavyweight championship Benavidez vs Gvozdyk. Wish the best of luck for both champions @Benavidez300 vs @AlexandrGvozdyk @TGBpromotions @premierboxing.”

UPDATED: Canelo's trainer/manager Eddy Reynoso has subsequently denied they were made at $55m offer and has Lewkowicz deleted his tweet with the claim.