Oleksandr Gvozdyk Eager for Revenge!
Ten years ago, in the amateurs, WBC world light heavyweight champion Oleksandr “The Nail” Gvozdyk (17-0, 14 KO’s) lost to fellow Eastern European rival and IBF world light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev (14-0, 14 KO’s).
At the time, Gvozdyk was contending with a broken nose and deficit in experience. Thankfully for him, Gvozdyk will have the opportunity to avenge that decade old loss. Not only will he be presented the opportunity for some get back, if successful, Gvozdyk will become a unified champion.
When many fighters take a loss, it can often become something of a mentally festering wound. Reflexively, fighters find themselves replaying the fight in their heads, searching for those crucial errors that cost them the victory.
Thankfully for Gvozdyk, this does not seem to be the case. In an interview with IBF TV, the hard-hitting Ukrainian came across as being quite at peace with the previous loss. Not only this, he did not appear to hold any sort of grudge or animosity toward Beterbiev whatsoever.
Instead of anger or contempt, the Nail simply displayed a healthy respect and eagerness to face Beterbiev once again. Now, Gvozdyk also can stand on the confidence that he has amassed since their initial clash.
Gvozdyk now has almost six years of professional experience and two titles defenses under his belt. He is certain that he can now deal with anything that his one-time Russian conqueror can throw at him.
“It’s not personal because I don’t know him personally. I respect him as a fighter, but I don’t know him as a person.
“You know, he was better ten years ago and I was fighting with a broken nose, but you know I’m not looking for excuses. Right now its different time, different boxers.
“We are both different and it was ten years ago, so we will see.”
While he was certainly not gleeful about the matter, similar to his loss to Beterbiev, Gvozdyk has apparently put his fight with Adonis “Superman” Stevenson (29-2-1, 24 KO’s) behind him as well.
In December 2018, in the Nail’s first defense of his WBC title, he fought and ultimately hospitalized Stevenson after one hellacious fight. In the aftermath, a comatose Stevenson would sustain brain trauma and require emergency surgery after the bout.
Thankfully, although he had to retire, Adonis Stevenson has made a near full recovery from the life threatening injury. Not all boxers are so lucky.
Many boxers never regain so much functionality while others, such as Maxim Dadashev, never recover at all. The Russian-born Dadashev died shortly after his July 19th prizefight that was aired live on ESPN+.
“I’m always looking for the news and some members of his [Adonis Stevenson] team said he is like 95% great, and I saw his interview when he was working with his wife.
“He seems like completely healthy person and I am happy for him.”
It goes without saying that Gvozdyk will be looking to hurt Beterbiev, just not permanently! Come October 18, it will be fun and interesting to see how Beterbiev and the Nail matchup in the professionals.
Once their fight is in the books there are only two more champions in the light heavyweight division, WBA champion Dmitry Bivol (16-0, 11 KO’s) and WBO champion Sergey “The Krusher” Kovalev (34-3-1, 29 KO’s).
Bivol will fight next on October 12 against a yet to be named opponent, while the Krusher will face Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KO’s) on November 2. Ideally, by the end of 2020 the division will have one undisputed light heavyweight champion.
Although, if WBA middleweight champion Saul Alvarez defeats Kovalev, this will likely throw a monkey wrench in things.
This is due to the fact that few believe Canelo will remain in the division if victorious. So in this regard, we all will just have to wait and see how things unfold.
By: Bakari Simpson