Four years after his last fight, light heavyweight Oleksandr Gvozdyk will be ducking through the ropes once again.

The former 175-pound champion from Ukraine is coming out of retirement this Saturday to take on Argentina’s Jorge Daniel Miranda in a six-round light heavyweight bout at The Derby Room Pomona at Fairplex in Pomona, Calif.

“The Nail”, one of the top fighters in his division when he was active, retired shortly after his brutal loss to Artur Beterbiev in 2019 at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia. Russia’s Beterbiev, who held the IBF title at the time, stopped the Ukrainian in the 10th round of a competitive fight to earn Gvozdyk’s WBC title. Beterbiev currently owns three of the four major 175-pound titles.

Gvozdyk, 35, did not have a long professional career, but he quickly made a name for himself with his combination of power and boxing ability. He became champion in 2018, when he defeated arguably the greatest light heavyweight of the 2010s in Adonis Stevenson, the long reigning Haitian-born champion from Quebec, by 11th-round stoppage. Stevenson suffered traumatic brain injury in that fight but would go on to mount a remarkable recovery.

In a recent interview, Gvozdyk elaborated on a few reasons why he decided to restart his boxing career, chief of which apparently has to do with the Russian invasion of his homeland. Gvozdyk, like his compatriots Vasiliy Lomachenko and Oleksandr Usyk, felt the need to support his country by fighting in the ring.

“Well, there were some circumstances,” Gvozdyk told journalist Steve Kim in a video uploaded on Twitter. “Actually, the biggest part of it is the situation in my country because I was spending a lot of time there and now there’s a war, part of it is, I lost a lot. The other part, I just want to support my country by raising my flag in the sports arenas.”

On a personal level, Gvozdyk (17-1, 14 KOs) admitted he was feeling restless during his retirement.

“Well, yes, a little bit,” Gvozdyk said when asked if he was getting the itch to fight again. “It was there. I wouldn’t say it was crazy, that I couldn’t sleep at night. But it (the desire to fight again) was there. Especially when you’re coming back in the ring and you see some fights when you see other guys coming from the locker rooms you wanna get that feeling again.”

Apparently, Saturday’s fight is not a one-off occasion. Depending on how his fight with Miranda goes, Gvozdyk said he eventually wants to take on the top fighters in his division, presumably including his former nemesis Beterbiev and Russia’s Dmitry Bivol, the WBA titlist.

“I don’t like to see too much in advance in the future,” Gvozdyk said. “Let’s see how this one goes.

“Definitely my goal is to fight the top guys. Not this kind of guys (Miranda).”