For some time, the talent has been culminating, and the prospect of these 2 fighters facing off against one another started coming to a 🍲boil as of late, and what he have here now is a Unification match-up of World Titles and high-tier fighters ready to test their mettle against one another. Undefeated IBF Light-Heavyweight Champion 🇷🇺Artur Beterbiev (14-0-0, 14KO) will take on the biggest challenge of his pro career against also-undefeated, WBC Light-Heavyweight Champion 🥉🇺🇦Oleksandr “The Nail” Gvozdyk (17-0-0, 14KO)…whom too faces the toughest assignment to date during his professional tenure. Both have esteemed amateur backgrounds, and both were successful in transferring the skill’s and success well over to the professional level, to where each sits among the top fighters in what is a crowded Light-Heavyweight division.
🤔 What makes Oleksandr Gvozdyk special? I would say his even-keeled approach to everything, inside boxing and outside, and is receptive to the voices in his ear and learns quickly on the job, adapting to circumstances at a seamless rate. That was one of the main reasons why esteemed Head-Trainer 🗣️Teddy Atlas made his return back to boxing in that capacity, due to him vetting the talented Ukrainian out to assess who Gvozdyk was as a man, and the results were resoundingly positive to where Teddy made the decision to enter back into his domain. Atlas has been adamant in Gvozdyk sticking to what he is best at doing, playing to his strengths, and keeping his opponent off-balanced, so this appears to be a very suitable pairing between the two individuals, who have a good working synergy with one another.
Now when you think of Artur Beterbiev, he’s as tough as they come, and he carries himself like a warrior, and has the punch to back it up. He even looks like he would be a perfect 🎬Actor casting choice for the movie 📽️“300” (laughs), and has the exact type of warrior code that the Greek’s had in the movie, built for war, and ready for whatever he is about to face in combat. Much like Gvozdyk, Beterbiev has a deadpan personality, with a steely intimidating stare. He doesn’t say much at all, but his actions are always predicated on doing what needs to be done to finish the job, and that’s what he’s looking to try to accomplish on Friday night.
THE BREAKDOWN🔎 – I often say Olek Gvozdyk has the best of both worlds, as he is a perfect hybrid between the old prototypical Ukrainian stand-up style of 🥇🇺🇦Wladimir Klitschko, 🇺🇦Vitali Klitschko – and the fluid, high octane shifty movement style of the new Ukrainian doctrine, most notably shown by Pound-4-Pound talents 🥇🥇🇺🇦Vasiliy Lomachenko, 🥇🇺🇦Oleksandr Usyk, and even through 🇺🇦Sergiy Derevyanchenko in a sense. His strengths are that he’s a stand-up boxer, who seldom neglects his defensive positioning, who hardly loses concentration in carrying out his game-plan, and is quick to making the adjustments. He also has quality, subtle footwork to step around his opponent, not to the level of his other Ukrainian counterparts going currently, but enough to evade punches, putting his opponent out of position, and capitalizing on whatever openings are present to the side in which he slide steps. He is very methodical with a measured approach, yet he keeps a consistent output, seldom ever fighting in spurts or taking chunks of rounds off. For this fight especially, Gvozdyk will need to deliver a heavy dose of jabs, and crosses, while using the step around to take advantage of one of Beterbiev’s weaknesses. That weakness in question is that Beterbiev has a habit of coming straight through the front door without using any angles whatsoever, and has difficulty re-establishing his balance and positioning once a fighter shifts laterally. As good as Beterbiev is, that showed routinely even during his impressive stint in the amateurs, any time he faced a fleet-footer type of boxer. Beterbiev also has been down a few times as a pro. His chin is not weak, but it is dent-able, and Gvozdyk does hit hard enough to do damage once he can pick you off at range, so he will need to step laterally so that he can land to the sides around Beterbiev’s guard.
As for Beterbiev, he is a 🧨dynamite puncher. In my personal opinion, with the exception of 🇯🇵Naoya Inoue, and 🥉🇺🇸Deontay Wilder, Beterbiev is P4P the hardest hitter in all of boxing. You will definitely need to move when you fight Artur, because if you give him a clean, free shot 💥…GOODNIGHT. Spoken of a little up top, while Gvozdyk has excellent footwork, it isn’t exceptionally quick, nor does it take up a wide mass of space that would allow him to evade Beterbiev’s range, and because of that, he will be close enough to Beterbiev where he is in danger of getting hit by something massive. I wouldn’t categorize this as a weakness for Gvozdyk, it’s more of a style, but with him being an exclusive stand up boxer, Beterbiev needs to try his hand at 🔨hammering down to the body with hooks, uppercuts and crosses to try and break him down to size. Gvozdyk blocks bodyshots well with his elbows, which is unusual for someone of his style and stature, but perhaps Artur can sneak a couple in to his benefit to get some type of onslaught going to get Gvozdyk in trouble, and to eventually take him out.
FIGHT COMPARISON – This fight in large reminds me of a fight that happened a couple years back in the Junior-Welterweight division between 🇺🇦Viktor Postol & 🇦🇷Lucas Matthysse.
The similar styles are apparent, as Gvozdyk would represent Postol, and Beterbiev would represent Matthysse in this instance. Matthysse being the stronger tried roughing up Postol, while Postol was looking to keep enough distance to keep Lucas at the end of his powerpunching. The fight was a very solid watch throughout, and with the differing of the 2 styles in play, it created an interesting dynamic that was enjoyable for the people watching at home, and for the audience who came out to watch them at the Stub Hub Center in Carson, California, USA.
🥁|| PREDICTION – Lately we’ve had a few unification matches take place, and they all lived up to the hype. This one I believe will supersede them , and I predict both will put their best foot forward to deliver 📰2019’s Fight-of-the-Year, being remembered as one for the ages for the Light-Heavyweight division. Beterbiev will put Gvozdyk in multiple moments of peril, but I predict that Gvozdyk will survive and get his footing by the 5th round, establishing his footwork and distance to pick away at the Russian warrior, to outlast Beterbiev for one of the great wars fought in recent memory for boxing, which has had an abundance of those as of late. I see Gvozdyk winning by stoppage, walking through hell, to ultimately win the red belt, while being up 5 rounds to 3 around the time of the stoppage, walking out of the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with his head high as a new Unified WBC/IBF Light-Heavyweight Champion. 📍(GVOZDYK TKO9)