David Haye tips Artur Beterbiev to edge Oleksandr Gvozdyk

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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David Haye is predicting a close fight between IBF light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev 14-0 (14) and WBC titleholder Oleksandr Gvozdyk 17-0 (14) at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia on Friday night.

“Artur Beterbiev and Oleksandr Gvozdyk will head into this showdown truly confident in their abilities and will be desperate to prove they are No.1 in the world,” Haye told the Mirror.

“In modern boxing it’s rare that we get two undefeated champions going up against each other in a fight of this magnitude.

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“There’s also that huge international sporting rivalry that exists between Russia and Ukraine, so I think it’s great for boxing. I’m expecting a high-quality affair.

“This fight hasn’t and will not get the media attention it deserves during the build-up. Regardless of that, it matches two of the best light heavyweights in the world going at it from the first bell.

“We have two undefeated fighters, two men with tremendous professional records who have fought the very best from the beginning of their careers. They have both become world champions in less than 15 fights apiece and that tells you everything you need to know.”

Beterbiev claimed his world title two years ago with a stoppage victory over Enrico Koelling and has defended the belt twice against Callum Johnson and Radivoje Kalajdzic.

Gvozdyk scored an upset win over Adonis Stevenson last December to pick up his belt and has defended once against Doudou Ngumbu.

Betfair ambassador Haye added: “Both fighters involved here have tremendous knockout records, some of the biggest KO percentages in the light heavyweight division.

“Beterbiev brings a 100 per cent average and Gvozdyk carries an 82 per cent average, so to say they are heavy handed is an understatement. Not only have they been knocking people out, they’ve been doing it at a very high standard, at world championship level.

“It’s all well and good having a run of KOs against domestic or European fighters but when you’re doing it against the best in the business, it really shows the true magnitude of the power.

“I’m really looking forward to this fight and it’s easy to get caught up in the knockout power on show but it’s also worth remembering Beterbiev and Gvozdyk have quality international experience as amateurs.

“I’d slightly lean towards Artur Beterbiev to win on points. Sometimes when you get two fighters with huge knockout ratios you expect it to be a case of who hits who first, but it doesn’t always work out like that.

“I am going for Beterbiev for a close points decision. Although they both have tremendous punching power, I believe both have good enough defences to negate the other’s offensive attributes.

“It will be high skilled, high level boxing match but I’m siding with Beterbiev to find a way to nick the majority of the rounds and sneak through.”

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