Oleksandr Gvozdyk, like the 14 men that face Artur Beterbiev, could not handle the level of power and aggression Beterbiev brought to the table.
With an eager fight crowd in Philadelphia ready to see a new unified light heavyweight champion, Beterbiev broke down Gvozdyk and eventually stopped him in the 10th round to become the new WBC and IBF titleholder.
The win is Beterbiev’s 15th straight with all 15 of his pro wins coming inside the distance, extending his run as the only champion in the sport to knock out every opponent put in front of him. Even from the beginning, Beterbiev showed his aggression and nearly dropped Gvozdyk.
In the first round, Gvozdyk was taken down by Beterbiev and was initially ruled a knockdown, causing an irate Teddy Atlas, Gvozdyk’s trainer, to storm the ring when the round ended. The knockdown was immediately overturned into a slip, but that didn’t stop Beterbiev from effectively landing body shots throughout the fight.
Beterbiev’s right hand connected on both Gvozdyk’s stomach and solar plexus and almost every time a solid punch landed there, Gvozdyk would wince and flinch. Still, Gvozdyk was able to connect on various combinations upstairs to stagger and outwork Beterbiev throughout multiple rounds. The eighth round was Gvozdyk’s last where he was able to do any damage as both men landed simultaneous right hooks late in the round to send each other off-balance.
The ninth round saw Beterbiev connect on multiple body shots landing on Gvozdyk, nearly hurting him in the process. Beterbiev did even more damage in the 10th round as he unleashed a flurry of punches that forced Gvozdyk to take a knee. Once Gvozdyk got back up, he was dropped twice more in the round with the referee stopping the bout the moment Gvozdyk touched the canvas a third time in the 10th round.
At the time of the stoppage, Gvozdyk was actually ahead on two scorecards 87-84 and 86-85 with only one judge having Beterbiev ahead 87-83.
As the sole unified champion at 175 pounds, Beterbiev has perhaps the biggest claim to be the top boxer in a division that has seen plenty of action in recent weeks and will see one more champion, WBO titleholder Sergey Kovalev, take on Canelo Alvarez on November 2.