Artur Beterbiev – Gvozdyk – Results

Two very bad men are set for an old-fashioned Philadelphia throwdown.

WBC light heavyweight world champion Oleksandr “The Nail” Gvozdyk and IBF light heavyweight world champion Artur Beterbiev will fight in a highly anticipated title unification bout Friday, Oct. 18 at the Liacouras Center.

Beterbiev and Gvozdyk enter this can’t-miss clash with a combined record of 31-0 with 28 knockouts.

Gvozdyk-Beterbiev will headline a special edition of Top Rank on ESPN beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.

The undercard will stream live on ESPN+ — the industry-leading sports streaming service — beginning at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Peltz Boxing, tickets priced at $150, $90, $75 and $50 (not including applicable fees) go on sale Friday, Aug. 23 at 12 p.m. ET and can be purchased at the Liacouras Center Box Office, www.liacourascenter.com or charge by phone at 800-298-4200.

“This could very well be the fight of the year,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “These are two evenly matched, undefeated light heavyweight champions. There is nothing better in the sport of boxing.”

“My first goal was to win a light heavyweight world title. Now, I want to unify the belts, and that mission starts with Artur Beterbiev,” Gvozdyk said. “This is going to be a spectacular fight, one that the fans will enjoy. The fans asked for this fight, and we will deliver. One thing I know is that I will be the unified champion. I have the best trainer, Teddy Atlas, in my corner. This is our third fight together, and under his guidance, I will continue to get better.”

“I wish to thank Top Rank and my opponent, Oleksandr Gvozdyk, for making this unification bout possible and giving the fans around the world what they want,” Beterbiev said. “This will be a great fight between the two champions who aspire to become the undisputed light heavyweight world champion. I am looking forward to stepping into the ring on October 18.”

Gvozdyk (17-0, 14 KOs) will be making the second defense of the title he won from longtime champion Adonis Stevenson in a come-from-behind 11th-round KO last December in Quebec City, Canada. He followed up the Stevenson win with a dominant fifth-round TKO March 30 over Doudou Ngumbu in Philadelphia, where a large Ukrainian contingent showed up to cheer on their countryman. Gvozdyk captured a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics, where he was teammates with current professional stablemate and pound-for-pound great Vasiliy Lomachenko. A five-year pro, Gvozdyk climbed the ranks with victories over established veterans like Isaac Chilemba, Yunieski Gonzalez and Nadjib Mohammedi.

Beterbiev (14-0, 14 KOs), a former Russian amateur star, has a come-forward, take-no-prisoners ring approach that has made him the only current world champion with a 100 percent KO ratio. He won the vacant IBF world title with a 12th-round TKO over Enrico Koelling, preserving his perfect KO record by stopping Koelling with 27 seconds left in the bout. His two title defenses have lasted a total of nine rounds, and most recently, he walked through longtime contender Radivoje “Hot Rod“ Kalajdzic in five rounds in the main event of the May 4 Top Rank on ESPN telecast.

Quotes

Oleksandr Gvozdyk

On working with Teddy Atlas

“Teddy demands a lot of his fighters, and I am fine with that. Training camp is supposed to be hard, and we worked together to come up with the necessary game plan to beat Beterbiev.”

“Teddy is very picky, very particular, and this is what you need. Sometimes, you cannot right yourself. Sometimes, you think you’re too tired, sometimes you want to work more, but Teddy knows exactly what you’re supposed to do. And there is no place for argument. First of all, he is a good person because when I met him, I realized that. Like I’ve said a lot of times before, this type of person is already under extinction, probably even non-existent anymore. From his professional qualities, besides his qualities as a human being, he’s very smart, he has over 40 years in this business, and he never loses any small details, which is really important.”

“First of all, my dream is to become undisputed champion. This is the first step, and this is the necessary step. And the second thing is, this is what fans like to see. They don’t want to see champions fight some opponents or journeymen. Tough fights, which fans like to see. For me, it’s a big challenge.”

“For now, only one challenge and one opponent exists for me. I’m not even thinking about any other opportunities. Everything is possible in the future. Maybe go up {in weight} or go down. I think it’s possible, maybe hard, but possible. But again, right now, I’m not even thinking about it.”

Teddy Atlas (Gvozdyk’s trainer)

“Camp couldn’t be better. We got to where we want to be. You gotta go in there Friday night and execute, but everything is in place. Couldn’t ask for more.”

On moving training camp to Philadelphia

First of all, we didn’t have to acclimate to the time difference because we’d be in the same time zone, and being that the weather would still be good, there was no problem with training here on the East Coast. Sometimes, you have to worry about bad weather with training on the East Coast. We didn’t have to worry about that. And not having to get on a plane and go across the country on the Sunday before the fight was a nice thing.”

On fighting a big puncher like Beterbiev

“It’s just, again, a reminder that there’s no room for mistakes, that there’s gotta be full concentration for 36 minutes. You have to fight one round at a time, one three-minute round at a time. Not two minutes and 59 seconds, no. Not when you’re in there with a puncher who can change everything in a moment with one punch, as {Adonis} Stevenson almost did in the 10th round. The reason why he’s a champion is because he was able to handle that and was able to survive that. That’s why he’s a champion. You could look at all the other rounds and say he’s a champion because of this, he’s a champion because of that, he gave angles, he used the jab, he punched at the right time. But he’s a champion because, when the moment came, he behaved like a champion.”

“If there are moments to take bigger bites in this fight, we’re going to take them at whatever time that is. If it’s early, it’s early. If it’s late, it’s late. If it’s middle, it’s middle. He’s got great judgment and instincts, and we’ve put that in place, and I know we can depend on that judgment and those instincts when it’s time to take a bite, small or big. We never want to get greedy. You never want to get greedy, especially with a puncher.”

“I think this fight’s a little different than maybe some people envision it. It’s not going to be exactly the same as the Stevenson fight because we have a guy where there’s going to have to be moments… put it this way, there’s going to have to be moments to take bigger bites with this guy. And that doesn’t mean getting sloppy or careless or greedy, but it means what it means.”

Artur Beterbiev

On the amateur fight he won against Gvozdyk

“I think it was two rounds. But I don’t know, I heard Gvozdyk say I broke his nose. I don’t know that. He said that. It was only two rounds.”

Has Gvozdyk changed as a fighter since then?

“I think so. I changed. He changed. Everybody changed. His face changed, too. A little more hair.”

On starting to train in Russia before moving camp to Montreal

“I went to Russia just for vacation, but I wanted to be, like, active. I went to altitude. I used to {train} there when I was an amateur boxer. I had a good camp there. It was like preparation for our camp {in Canada} for eight weeks.”

On his past promotional difficulties and extended layoffs

“It was a difficult time, but I don’t want to talk about the past. I think the future is more happy. It’s hard when you have court and you have to train and be active. It’s hard, but I did that. Now, I have 100 percent time to focus on my fight and my career.”

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