Michael Seals showered and rushed back into the arena the night he scored a first-round knockout on the Artur Beterbiev-Oleksandr Gvozdyk undercard.
Seals wanted a perfect seat inside Temple University’s Liacouras Center to watch those elite light heavyweights go at it. The hard-hitting Seals also sought an advantageous viewpoint because he was scouting as much as he was watching their fight from a fan’s perspective October 18 in Philadelphia.
Seals saw it as a 50-50 bout before they fought for Beterbiev’s IBF belt and Gvozdyk’s WBC crown. He figured if it went beyond six rounds, Gvozdyk would’ve withstood Beterbiev’s vaunted power and used his boxing ability to out-point the Russian knockout artist on the cards.
Instead, Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs) dropped Ukraine’s Gvozdyk (17-1, 14 KOs) three times in the 10th round, the round in which their fight was stopped.
“Beterbiev showed a lot more than just being a bruiser,” Seals told BoxingScene.com. “But that wasn’t surprising to me. The guy has like 400 amateur fights. I know he can box. And he showed he can box a little bit, too. But I can do it all, too, man, so that’s why I know [me and Beterbiev] would be an exciting fight.”
The unheralded Seals seeks a shot at Beterbiev’s IBF and WBC 175-pound championships. Their fight could become more realistic if Seals upsets Eleider Alvarez, the most accomplished opponent of Seals’ career, on Saturday night in Verona, New York.
The Colombian-born, Quebec-based Alvarez (24-1, 12 KOs) hasn’t fought in nearly a year, but he is a 6-1 favorite against Seals (24-2, 18 KOs) in a 10-round encounter ESPN will televise from Turning Stone Resort Casino (10 p.m. ET; 7 p.m. PT). The 37-year-old Seals, of Fairburn, Georgia, believes he is capable of beating Alvarez and Beterbiev, who’ll make a mandatory defense of his IBF title versus China’s Fanlong Meng (16-0, 10 KOs) in his next fight.
“I think it would end in a knockout,” Seals said of battling Beterbiev. “I guess that’s pretty safe to say. I know it would be a very, very exciting fight. It would be pay-per-view entertainment. And that’s what it’s about, man. I just wanna entertain the fans. And I wanna make the most entertaining fights. I know Beterbiev and I would be explosive. It will be like the Fourth of July, man. That would be perfect. I would love, love, love that fight.
“I know it’s gonna hurt. I know it won’t be an easy fight and I’ll need a couple weeks to recover from it, but that’s what it’s about, man. It’s about the entertainment factor. I’m all for that. And that’s what I signed up for, so I would love that fight – love it. But first, I have to get past Alvarez, and I will do that.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.