Teddy Atlas, the trainer of former WBC light heavyweight champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk, believes the boxer would have stayed in the sport had a scheduled fight went forward.
Gvozdyk has been out of the ring since October of 2019, when he suffered his first career defeat. He was dropped three times and stopped in the tenth round by Artur Beterbiev in their WBC, IBF light heavyweight unification clash.
Earlier in the year, Gvozdyk was discussing his desire to pursue another world title - with WBA champion Dmitry Bivol as a potential target. Gvozdyk was motivated to create a strong path to a potential rematch with Beterbiev.
The division was caught off-guard last month, when Gvozdyk unexpectedly announced his retirement from the sport.
According to Gvozdyk, he was leaving the sport to pursue business ventures that are not connected to boxing.
According to Atlas, his fighter was scheduled to return earlier this year.
After some back and forth discussions, a date was being put together for the month of April.
But because of the coronavirus pandemic, the planned fight was canceled.
Had that contest went forward as planned, Atlas feels that Gvozdyk would still be an active player at 175-pounds.
"I wanted him to have six months off after that tough Beterbiev fight. He fought a great fight. Then his promoter was going to bring him back. He was ready to return in April, we were ready to come back, and the promoters talked about the fight, but it did not take place. Then another one was canceled. Those things happen. If one of these fights took place, he would still be boxing. However, the fight did not happen," Atlas stated on his podcast, 'The Fight.'