LIGHT-HEAVYWEIGHT is arguably the deepest division in boxing right now, with the current top 10 packed full of talent. This Friday (October 18), fans can look forward to two of the best fighters in the weight class going head to head in a mouthwatering unification matchup. The Liacouras Center in Philadelphia is the venue as unbeaten Top Rank stablemates Oleksandr Gvozdyk and Artur Beterbiev collide in the definition of a 50-50 fight.
These Beasts from the East share similarly striking statistics both as amateurs and pros. Ukrainian Gvozdyk won bronze at the 2012 Olympic Games and compiled a faultless 9-0 record in the World Series of Boxing. Russia’s Beterbiev, meanwhile, amassed a collection of major medals in the unpaid ranks (World gold and silver & European gold x2), as well as twice featuring at the Olympics.
Since turning over, both have gone on to become world champions. Gvozdyk claimed the WBC belt in December by defeating long-reigning titlist Adonis Stevenson on away turf in Canada. Behind on the scorecards in the 11th round, the challenger broke through to secure a knockout victory which unfortunately resulted in Stevenson having to undergo emergency brain surgery. He has since awoken from a medically induced coma and is thankfully recovering well. Gvozdyk defended his strap just under four months later against the unheralded Doudou Ngumbu, who had to pull out in the fifth frame due to a calf injury.