IT’S been a year when too many big fights have either been delayed, or simply not been made, much to the frustration of long-suffering boxing fans. Want to see Canelo Alvarez in action? The Mexican superstar’s next scheduled outing has been pushed back from September to November, with no definite opponent yet (or even a definite weight division in which he will box). Looking forward to the Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder rematch? You’ll have to wait until February 2020 – and even then it will happen only if they win their planned autumn fights first (Fury against Otto Wallin next month, Wilder against Luis Ortiz in November).
But finally there is some good news, because on October 18 Oleksandr Gvozdyk and Artur Beterbiev will meet at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia to unify two of the four major light-heavyweight belts.
Gvozdyk holds the WBC title and Beterbiev the IBF belt – and both men are terrific punchers. Ukraine’s Gvozdyk (nickname “The Nail”) has won all his 17 pro fights, with 14 inside the distance, while Russia’s Beterbiev also boasts 14 early victories – from as many pro bouts.
Together, that makes a total of 31 wins with all but three ending before the final bell. It could well be one of those blink-and-you’ll-miss-it fights; you definitely won’t want to turn up at the last minute, or dawdle at the bar during the undercard.