After a recent report indicating that Artur Beterbiev and Oleksandr Gvozdyk are on a collision course towards a unification bout, both men have put pen to paper and will now face each other in October.
The date for the IBF/WBC light heavyweight title unification for now is October 18, set to headline a Top Rank card on an ESPN platform. Beterbiev first publicly revealed he signed the contract on Twitter, followed by Gvozdyk signing his side of the contract, per his manager Egis Klimas.
Good news! I signed a contract for unification fight with Oleksandr Gvozdyk @alex_gvozdyk for #IBF and #WBC belts. The bout will be on 18 October, USA.— Artur Beterbiev (@ABeterbiev) July 17, 2019
У меня отличная новость! Я подписал контракт на объединительный бой с Александром Гвоздиком @alex_gvo… https://t.co/ZVv11RJrX7 pic.twitter.com/QPvc7UKHTi
Though both sides have indicated that the fight would be October 18, it is in fact just one of a few dates being thrown around, according to Jake Donovan of Boxing Scene. The report stated that October 11 and 25 are also in play for the fight if a venue cannot be secured for October 18, but for all intents and purposes, the fight is secured and would crown a unified champion at 175 pounds since Andre Ward did it from 2016 to 2017 when he held the WBA, WBO and IBF titles.
Beterbiev has held the IBF title since later 2017 when he knocked out Enrico Koelling on ESPN. Since then, Beterbiev has been somewhat inactive since winning the title with his first defense coming 11 months after the win over Koelling. After retaining the title against Callum Johnson on DAZN last October, Beterbiev returned to ESPN in May when he stopped Radivoje Kalajdzic in five rounds.
Gvozdyk won his world title last year when he traveled to Canada and knocked out Adonis Stevenson while down on two of the three scorecards. Trained by Teddy Atlas, Gvozdyk returned to the ring in March and beat Doudou Ngumbu after Ngumbu couldn’t continue fighting in the fifth round due to a calf injury.