WBC light heavyweight world champion Oleksandr “The Nail” Gvozdyk (17-0, 14 KOs) and IBF light heavyweight world champion Artur Beterbiev (14-0, 14 KOs) will fight in a highly anticipated title unification bout Friday, Oct. 18 at the Liacouras Center.
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+ beginning at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.
Beterbiev 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.
“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. 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.” – said Beterbiev.
Gvozdyk 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. A five-year pro, Gvozdyk climbed the ranks with victories over established veterans like Isaac Chilemba, Yunieski Gonzalez and Nadjib Mohammedi.
“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. 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.” – said Gvozdyk.
They both made weight on Thursday for their light heavyweight unification clash this Friday night. The unbeaten IBF light heavyweight champion Beterbiev weighed in at 174.5 lbs, while WBC champion Gvozdyk weighed in slightly less at 174.3 lbs.
(Sources: BoxingScene, BoxingNews24)