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Oleksandr Gvozdyk talks Beterbiev & Canelo vs. Kovalev

Artur Beterbiev Canelo Alvarez Sergey Kovalev

By Dean Berman: WBC light heavyweight champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk (17-0, 14 KOs) will be fighting next month against IBF champion Artur Beterbiev (14-0, 14 KOs) in a unification match at Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The fight will be shown on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 10:00 p.m. ET.

This is an interesting match-up with a lot on the line for both guys. The winner of the Beterbiev-Gvozdyk fight will hold two titles, and can move on to face WBA champion Dmitry Bivol or the winner of the November 2 fight between WBO champ Sergey Kovalev and Saul Canelo Alvarez.

Gvozdyk not sure if he can KO Beterbiev

“It’s not personal. I don’t know him personally,” said Gvozdyk to IFL TV about his opponent Beterbiev. “Yeah, he was better 10 years ago when I was fighting with a broken nose, but I’m not looking for excuses. Right now it’s a different time. We’re both different. It was 10 years ago, so we’ll see.

I haven’t talked to him personally,” said Gvozdyk about Adonis Stevenson. I’m always looking for the news. Members of his team say he’s 95% great, and I saw his interview with his wife. He seems like a healthy person, and I’m happy for him. Anything can happen. It’s boxing,” said Gvozdyk when asked if he thinks he can KO Beterbiev. “I don’t know. We’ll see.”

It could prove to be a mistake for Gvozdyk if he goes looking for a knockout against Beterbiev. Gvozdyk fights better when he’s boxing his opponents, because he gets in trouble sometimes when he slugs. Tommy Karpency and Medhi Amar both hand Gvozdyk hurt, and neither of them are anywhere near the same puncher as Beterbiev.

Gvozdyk was involved in a tragic fight in December 2018 that ended the career of WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson. In the 11th round, Gvozdyk stopped the 41-year-old Stevenson with a series of shots. Stevenson later collapsed and was taken to a nearby hospital for emergency brain surgery.

Gvozdyk predicts victory for Kovalev over Canelo

“A very tough guy, very strong, and very big,” said Gvozdyk about Anthony Yarde. “I don’t know how he makes 175, but Sergey showed he’s a real man. He had some problems eight, but he kept going and finished him. It was a very good performance by Kovalev. I think it’s a really interesting fight. Canelo, it’s very interesting.

I think Kovalev has an advantage because of his size, and he’s a real light heavyweight, and Canelo is a middleweight. But we will see. I think Canelo has a smart team, and they know what they’re doing. And, I expect Kovalev to win the fight, but it’s going to be a really tough fight. I don’t think it’s going to be easy,” said Gvozdyk.

Kovalev (34-3-1, 29 KOs) almost lost his last fight against Anthony Yarde on August 24. Yarde rung Kovalev’s bell in the 8th round, and beat all over the ring for the three minutes. Kovalev showed a lot of heart to make it through that rough patch in the fight. He came back strong and stopped Yarde in the 11th.

Gvozdyk is counting on Kovalev’s size advantage getting him the victory against Canelo. It’s going to be tough, especially with the fight taking place in front of a pro-Canelo crowd in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Atlas says DAZN needs the Canelo vs. Kovalev fight

“They have all the leverage,” said Teddy Atlas about Kovalev having leverage against Canelo, because he needs a big name opponent for November on DAZN. “They’ve earned themselves a bonus. They’ll probably add another couple of million to that $12 million number. John Skipper, who was hired by DAZN, is in the hot seat. He hasn’t been doing a great job.

He’s laid out a lot of money. They need to sell a lot of subscriptions, baby. His backside is on the line. With all of that in the backdrop, Kovalev is in a sweet place. He’s got to make this fight. At the end of the month, it’s the billing cycle. They have the big fight, the Golovkin fight with [Sergiy] Derevyanchenko.

In December, they have the rematch [Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr,], the big fight, The heavyweight fight. November is empty. They have to have a significant fight with a guy [Canelo] they’ve committed $360 million to.

Atlas believes that DAZN boss John Skipper is in the hot seat due to him paying out so much money to guys like Canelo, who has chosen not to fight Gennady Golovkin in a trilogy match. DAZN needs Canelo to fight Golovkin again, because it would greatly increase the subscriptions to the streaming service. Since signing with DAZN, Canelo has fought Rocky Fielding and Daniel Jacobs. Now he’s about to face 36-year-old Kovalev on November 2. There wasn’t that much interest from casual boxing fans in Canelo’s fights against Jacobs and Fielding. Kovalev figures to interest fans more.

DAZN might need to pay GGG more money says Teddy

“I wouldn’t be shocked if they didn’t have to open the vault a little bit more to GGG, because as far as I know, it was in his agreement when he signed with DAZN,” said Atlas. “He was going to get a third fight with Canelo. He didn’t get it yet. Right now he might not get it. He might still get it. Right now he didn’t get it. From what I hear, he was threatening. They were breech. GGG was threatening. I’m not positive. I have pretty good courses. He was talking about skipping town.

Getting out of dodge, baby. Leaving DAZN maybe, because again an opening for him to do that, because they weren’t fulfilling the commitment that he signed believing he would get another Canelo fight at the end of the rainbow. So they can’t lost GGG. They can’t let that happen. So I wouldn’t be surprised if he got a few more shekels to fight [Sergiy] Derevyanchenko. So there’s a lot of pressure there.

Atlas thinks there’s a possibility that former IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Golovkin will potentially create a fuss, because he signed a six-fight contract with DAZN believing that it would lead to a third fight with Canelo. Thus far, that hasn’t happened. In GGG’s first fight under his six-fight contract with DAZN, he fought Steve Rolls, a complete unknown fighter. Now Golovkin is about to fight Sergiy Derevyanchenko on October 5 on DAZN next month for Canelo’s recently vacated IBF middleweight title. Golovkin wanted to fight Canelo this month, but the Mexican star didn’t want to fight him.

Canelo getting and old vulnerable guy in Kovalev says Teddy

“There’s a lot going on there where DAZN is bleeding a little money here and there,” said Atlas. “They need to make sure their golden goose in all boxing, Canelo; the pay-per-view  king with that great Latino following, that he fights a significant opponent. Again, Kovalev has all the leverage The leverage may be in the side of winning if the fight happens.

It would be on the side of Canelo, because he’s going to be getting an older guy with one foot out the door, who is vulnerable, and he showed that in the fight. He’s vulnerable, and he’s coming off of a tough fight, and he’s not going to get any rest for the most part. He’s going to go right in, so they’ve got the edge there, but the other guy [Kovalev] is getting paid pretty damn good to do it,” said Atlas.

Kovalev is vulnerable, and he’s getting up there in age as well. Canelo is getting him at the perfect time. However, Kovalev is still big, talented and dangerous. He’s fighting a lot better now that he has Buddy McGirt as his trainer, because he’s got him boxing, and doing less slugging.

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