Oleksandr Gvozdyk was ostensibly on his way to being considered the next great Ukrainian fighter. After taking home an Olympic bronze medal in the 2012 games, Gvozdyk parlayed that into a light heavyweight world title run in 2018. But while it appeared as though his reign on top of the division was just getting underway, Artur Beterbiev would hear none of it.
On October 18th, 2019, in front of a jam-packed at the Liacouras Center, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the two waged an all-out war with both the WBC and IBF light heavyweight titles on the line.
Though he appeared to be boxing effectively from the outside, Gvozdyk eventually succumbed to Beterbiev’s relentless pressure. Although it was only the first defeat of his career, Gvozdyk decided that a five-year career was all that his body could handle. However, after taking a few years to recharge his batteries, Gvozdyk (17-1, 14 KOs) is beginning to get that pugilistic itch.
“Training hard,” said Gvozdyk to ESNEWS. “Looking for comeback, getting in shape.”
Presently, the light heavyweight picture has one familiar name residing at the very top as Beterbiev remains the division’s lone unified champion. Nevertheless, since snagging Gvozdyk’s WBC title, the Russian native has recently added even more gold to his already impressive collection.
Just a few short months ago, the hard-hitting pound-for-pound level star registered yet another bone-crushing victory. This time, at the expense of Joe Smith Jr. In doing so, Beterbiev ripped away Smith’s WBO title. With only one belt eluding him, the WBA crown held by Dmitry Bivol, Beterbiev is hopeful that a clash between them will materialize at some point in 2023.
First things, first, however, both fighters will attempt to defend their light heavyweight trinkets. In the case of Beterbiev, he’ll look to turn back the mandatory title challenge of Anthony Yarde. As for Bivol, following his upset victory over Canelo Alvarez, he’s officially set to take on Gilberto Ramirez on November 5th.
Regardless of the murky image near the summit of the 175-pound division, Gvozdyk is determined to crash the party. And while he’s well aware that he has a bit of rust to work off, if any of the top contenders are in need of an opponent, Gvozdyk reveals that he’s ready, willing, and able to make his return on relatively short notice.
“I can make weight in a month.”