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Gvozdyk and Beterbiev leave politics behind

As their home countries wage war against each other, neither Ukrainian WBC light heavyweight champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk (17-0, 14 KOs) or Russian IBF light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev (14-0, 14 KOs) is focused on his opponent’s nationality. Instead, both fighters choose to focus on the man they will meet in the center of the ring at Temple University’s Liacouras Center on Friday. The winner will leave the ring as unified WBC/IBF world champion.

The hostilities between their home countries isn’t a topic that either Gvozdyk or Beterbiev is anxious to discuss.

“I’m just an athlete,” says Gvozdyk. “I don’t want to make any parallels to the fight. I am living in California, he is living in Montreal. I just don’t know anything about it.”

Beterbiev commented, “Any war is bad for people, but I really don’t want to talk about it. It’s far from me in Canada.”

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  • The only time I saw any kind of nastiness in the ring between a Russian and Ukranian was when Kovalev knocked out that African-Ukranian fighter, and who is to know if that was because of nationalities, considering Kovalev’s behavior at the time. When Usyk and Klitschko went to fight the two Russian fighters they did in Russia, they seemed to not be met with ill will by the fans, and basically scored shutouts in there wins.

  • Wow!!! Been dreaming of this fight for a couple years. Very surprised they would make this matchup now. Sure not many other LtHvys want either of these guys.

  • Its such a relief to see that these two important boxers are leaving politics out of boxing. This fight will be a treat for all of us. I still see Gvozdyk has a slight favorite, but regardless who will win, I am certain that this will be a fight at the highest level of boxing.

  • No losses and a high KO percentage for each. You know thats not going the distance. What a blessing I’m not Beterbiev. Because I would be in prison for beating the fck out of people in daily life who desperately need it. FACT.

      • Ummm, No. Holodomor, but that was almost 90 years ago. The war in Crimea has nothing to do with a couple of boxers who live in America.

  • Normally we expect a short ending in a fight where both men carry enough power to make this happen. But sometimes one of them opts for a safe route, because besides respecting the other’s power, he believes is the better boxer, and as a consequence of this, the fight is decided with the score cards. We have seen this in the past; just no too long ago Lucas Matthysse did that vs. Provodnikov as John Molina did too.This could happen in this fight as well. I still believing Beterbiev will win by KO before 7 rounds, but I won’t be surprised or disappointed if the nail wins in either way. This is a win-win for boxing and a gem of a good matchup. The less I can wish is best of luck for both men.

    • I also think this fight will go the distance, as both guys have pedigree and will fight with intelligence rather than brawn. It’s also why I think the Ukrainian will get the decision. Slava Ukraine!

  • Jack was spot on.. Chechens are a different breed.. They are some HARDCORE PEOPLE!!! If you cut someone of in Chechnya they will likely run you off a cliff.. And keep going. Those people don’t play at all! They are so hard they gargle with peanut butter.

    • Nie. There has to be a winner to advance the light heavyweight division. I would actually like to see the winner fight Bivol. The winner of Kovalev vs Canelo is not a consideration for lineal at 175 to serious boxing fans. The winner of Friday night’s fight who beats Bivol, if they can, is undisputed at light heavyweight.

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