By: Hans Themistode
Big fights come around in the sport of boxing, but not as much as they should.
The anticipation for a huge boxing event is almost like no other. Two star boxers at the peak of their powers going blow for blow to determine who is better, gives chills to the fans who witness it.
This Friday night at the Liacouras Center, in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, IBF Light Heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev (14-0, 14 KOs) will look to prove that he is the best in the division when het takes on fellow champion, WBC belt holder Oleksandr Gvozdyk (17-0, 14 KOs).
Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account
Since the announcement of this contest, the boxing world has been buzzing. It is truly a 50/50 bout between these two champions. With so many great boxers currently in the Light Heavyweight division, these two will be given the chance to prove that they are a step above the rest.
This matchup hasn’t just gotten fight fans excited, but it has also brung joy too long time boxing promoter Bob Arum.
“We’ve had some really good fights this year,” said Arum. “But I think this unification battle between Gvozdyk, the WBC champion and Beterbiev, the IBF champion is something really special. Not only do I think it will be fight of the year but I think it has the capability of being one of the best all-time boxing matches.”
Those are lofty expectations set by Arum, but one that could very well come to fruition.
Throughout the brief career of Beterbiev, he has proven to be a force in the division. His run to the IBF title has been one like no other. He has flat out dominated his competition in every aspect. None of his 14 pro fights have made it the distance. Still, even with a championship belt safely in his possession, he has faced no one of note.
Gvozdyk will prove to be his toughest opposition to date. The WBC titlist has had an impressive run through the division in his own right. His attraction as a true big time fighter began in 2017, when he dismantled former contender Yunieski Gonzalez. Gvozdyk toyed with him that night to the tune of a stoppage win. He would later stop Craig Baker later on that year as well.
The biggest win in the career of Gvozdyk occurred in 2018. He managed to fight his way to a mandatory position against long time champion Adonis Stevenson. In the bout, Gvozdyk stopped Stevenson in the eleventh round to claim his first ever world title.
This contest between these two heavy hitting champions have all of the ingredients to be a special night for the fans.
“I really look forward to a knock down drag out fight,” said Arum.
Gvozdyk is clearly the better boxer but he’s not a bad puncher either. He’s the complete package. Beterbiev is not just a good puncher, he’s a devastating puncher. He puts his opponents to sleep. I wouldn’t be surprised if both guys were on the deck at some point in the fight. Two great fighters, two undefeated fighters, fighting to unify the Light Heavyweight belts.”
With the anticipation for this contest at an all-time high, fans and media alike can’t wait to see the outcome this Friday night.