Beterbiev Stops Gvozdyk to Unify Titles

Artur Beterbiev may now be considered the big man on top of boxing’s light heavyweight division, as he finished the now previously-unbeaten Oleksandr Gvozdyk in a hard-hitting affair to unify his IBF and Gvozdyk’s WBC championships.

The fight headlined a Top Rank Boxing card at the Liacouras Center, on the campus of Temple University, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Beterbiev got Gvozdyk on his back foot early in the opening frame, but Gvozdyk found his footing and worked a jab. Beterbiev tossed Gvozdyk down to the canvas before the round ended, and the referee controversially scored it a knockdown, which caused Gvozdyk’s trainer, Teddy Atlas, to flip out. The Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission ultimately overturned the mistaken knockdown.

Beterbiev landed a couple of hard power shots during the second round, but Gvozdyk stayed in the pocket and mixed things up around Beterbiev to make things really competitive early on.

Gvozdyk got Beterbiev’s back to the ropes in the fourth, and in the sixth, each man landed a hard shot that the other ate well.

Gvozdyk was landing often, but Beterbiev had the better, more damaging punches, as he was forced to hold on to Beterbiev to avoid getting knocked down in the ninth round. But that only delayed the inevitable, as Beterbiev forced Gvozdyk to drop to a knee three times in the 10th before the referee waved off the bout.

Gvozdyk was ahead on two of the three judges’ scorecards at the time of the stoppage.

Beterbiev is expected to defend his titles next against IBF mandatory challenger Meng Fanlong.

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