Oleksandr Gvozdyk has a sole defeat on his resume. The blotch on his record is due to WBC, WBO and IBF light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev.
The pair clashed in Philadelphia in 2019, both putting their undefeated records and world title belts on the line. Gvozdyk (19-1, 15 KOs) succumbed to a 10th round knockout defeat that saw him take a three year hiatus from boxing.
As the clock clicks ticks down on the highly anticipated light heavyweight showdown between the unified world champion and Callum Smith in Montreal next month, Gvozdyk spoke exclusively to ProBox TV to give his unique opinion on the upcoming fight.
“Beterbiev is 38 years old now, you just never know when the fighters are getting too old.” Gvozdyk said. “In his last fight against Anthony Yarde, I thought he looked much worse than when he fought me in 2019. There are two things that could have happened in that fight, he either underestimated Anthony Yarde or it is his age. I’m not too sure which one, I watched the press conference before that fight, he looked calm and relaxed, he even made some jokes about the fight. But his performance was not good enough, if he fights like that against Callum Smith, if it is not enough to win. Like I said, the fighter I saw against Yarde was nowhere near the man I fought.
“This in my opinion, I fought this man I know how strong he is. I know how hard he can hit and how strong his hands are. This fighter is too much for Callum Smith! However, he will have to deal with a much taller fighter this time, he has a big reach too. If you remember Beterbiev had some difficulties against Marcus Browne in the 1st round, but then he added some crazy pressure to break him down. If he has the same condition, I think Beterbiev is supposed to be the winner of this fight. But you never know in boxing, plus it’s at light heavyweight and those guys can end you with one punch.”
England’s Smith previously ruled the 168 pound division before bumping into Saul Canelo Alvarez. The Liverpudlian (29-1, 21 KOs) takes part in his third fight in his new weight class.
“I think Callum Smith is serious threat at light heavyweight.” Gvozdyk added. “I can’t tell you that he is some new superstar or a killer at light heavy, I don’t think that. But he is legit, he is a solid fighter and there isn’t a big difference from super middle to light heavy, it is only seven pounds. I don’t see the weight having a massively influence on him as a fighter. My favourite is Beterbiev, but I’m not underestimating Callum Smith, I think he will bring a good fight.”
Gvozdyk has bounced back to winning ways since his return, most recently defeating Ricards Bolotniks by a 6th round knockout in Guadalajara, Mexico. The Olympic bronze medalist and former WBC world champion now sits ranked in 5th position for the belt Beterbiev won from him over three years ago.