Artur Beterbiev Overpowers, Mauls and Stops Gvozdyk in Philly Smackdown Stoppage



Artur Beterbiev Overpowers, Mauls and Stops Gvozdyk in Philly Smackdown Stoppage

I watched the bout at my brother's house, and by the time the main event got going, he was asleep. But his wife and my wife were up with me, watching ESPN and seeing the light heavyweight unification match between Oleksandr Gvozdyk and Artur Beterbiev.

They asked about the nationalities of the men topping this Top Rank presentation and I informed them, Gvozdyk came from Ukraine and Beterbiev, Russia.

We saw things play out, and I realized after maybe about four rounds that my thinking going in, that the “better boxer” could use ring generalship and his “youthful” edge to gain a UD, might play out not to be so.

“The one looks like you'd see him on a beach and go, ‘Mmmm,' OK,” my brother's wife said. “And the other guy, you'd see him and be, like, ‘OK.”

What she meant was, Gvozdyk, age 32, had the physique and visage that were pleasant, easy to appreciate. The other guy, Beterbiev, age 34, he looked RUGGED…beefy…like he'd be abe to kick sand in the face of anyone on that beach, and bloody well get away with it.

The beach bully indeed did get away with it, it being Gvozdyk's 175 crown, as he smacked the younger man to the mat three times in the tenth round of their scheduled 12 or less combat at Liacouras Center at Temple, in Philly.

At the third drop, ref Gary Rosato knew that Gvozdyk, helmed by Teddy Atlas, unable to catalyze his kid to the triumph, because Beterbiev's thumping thunderbolts especially to the body were organ rattling and energy draining, was in no shape to continue.

On the score cards, one judge had “the Nail” up three points, the other by a single point, and the other arbiter had Beterbiev up by four points. It was a tight fight, I had rounds going both ways, and two could have been even rounds.

This was a mismatch in body and mind, and by mind, I mean because Beterbiev knew he was the sturdier athlete. He'd throw at Gvozdyk, and wouldn't mind if he cuffed with a forearm or elbow. He was draining the loser, who'd fire combos and skitter away, but do so with (un)happy feet, because he knew if he planted he'd get strafed by the Russian bear. If you told me Gvozdyk was a 154, I would have believed you; same if you told me Beterbiev was a cruiserweight.

No day at the beach, for the loser, who hung tough and sad to say, for himself, saw history repeat itself. Beterbiev had his number ten years ago, in the amateurs, and again on this night. Sometimes, oftentimes, when they got your number, they don't lose it. History repeats itself because it's hard to change traits. And Beterbiev, he has some traits!

It seems a good bet that Beterbiev next would meet the IBF's No. 1 rated boxer…

Promoter Bob Arum will be traveling to China, to set up a clash there, in a few weeks.



PHILADELPHIA (Oct. 18, 2019) — It was a savage light heavyweight battle that lived up to the Philadelphia billing. Artur Beterbeiv, in a back-a-forth affair, knocked out Oleksandr Gvozdyk in the 10th round to unify the WBC/IBF light heavyweight titles Saturday evening at the Liacouras Center.

Beterbiev knocked down Gvozdyk three times in the 10th, as referee Gary Rosato immediately waved off the fight following the third knockdown.

Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs) was behind on two of the three judges' scorecards at the time of the stoppage.

“We work in the gym We work hard, and we have some targets,” Beterbiev said. “My first target, second target and other one comes soon.

“It doesn’t matter {who I fight next.} Anyone. I’m focused on title, not on name.”

Abdukakhorov Defeats Collazo

Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (17-0, 9 KOs) maintained his status as the IBF No. 1 welterweight contender, scoring a unanimous technical decision (99-91, 98-92 and 97-93) over former world title challenger Luis Collazo (39-8, 20 KOs) after a cut opened up above Collazo's right eye in the 10th and final round.

“I am the IBF No. 1 contender, and I would like to fight for the title fight next,” Abdukakhorov said. “I wanted to fight Errol Spence Jr., but unfortunately he got in a car accident. I wish him a speedy recovery, and if he’s ready to fight soon, I would like to fight him. If he has to vacate the title, then I will fight whoever they put in front of me.”

Collazo injured his biceps in the fifth round and was unable to throw his left hand much throughout the second half of the fight.

“Hey, it is what it is. This is part of the sport,” Collazo said. “We’ll see what’s next.”

— South Philadelphia-born heavyweight sensation Sonny “The Bronco” Conto (5-0, 4 KOs) knocked out Steven Lyons (5-6, 2 KOs) following the conclusion of the first round after Lyons cited an injury.

— Light heavyweight contender Michael Seals (24-2, 18 KOs) knocked out Elio Trosch (14-9-2, 7 KOs) with a left hook at 1:38 of the opening round. Seals has won three in a row by knockout.

— Joseph “Blessed Hands” Adorno (14-0, 12 KOs) made quick work of Damian Sosa (9-3, 7 KOs), knocking out the Argentine veteran in the second round of a scheduled eight-round lightweight bout.

— Josue “The Prodigy” Vargas (15-1, 9 KOs) won his ninth consecutive bout, securing an eight-round unanimous decision (80-72 3X) over Johnny Rodriguez (9-5-1, 6 KOs).

— Super bantamweight prospect Jeremy “Magic Hands” Adorno (3-0, 1 KO) cruised to a four-round unanimous decision over Misael Reyes (1-3, 0 KOs) by scores of 40-35 2X and 38-37.

— Julian “Hammer Hands” Rodriguez (18-0, 12 KOs) notched his second victory in three months, knocking out Leonardo Doronio (17-17-3, 11 KOs) in the sixth round of a super lightweight fight.

Founder/editor Michael Woods got addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the then-impregnable Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist has covered the sport since for ESPN The Magazine,, Bad Left Hook and RING. His journalism career started with NY Newsday in 1999. Michael Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and for Facebook Fightnight Live, since 2017.