Former WBC light heavyweight champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk says Canelo Alvarez will give IBF/WBC champion Artur Beterbiev a lot of problems at 175 if the Mexican star goes up in weight to challenge him for his titles in 2022.
Gvozdyk believes that the hard-hitting Beterbiev won’t be able to break Canelo down with his power like he’s done with the other 16 opponents he’s faced since turning professional in 2013.
According to Gvozdyk, Canelo will handle Beterbiev’s power well because he already proved that he could deal with the power from Gennadiy Golovkin in their two fights. Of course, Golovkin didn’t fight Canelo in close the way that Beterbiev likely will.
Golovkin stayed at medium to long-range in his fight with Canelo, as he didn’t have the inside game to brawl with Alvarez using the ‘Mexican style,’ as his former trainer Abel Sanchez used to refer to his approach to fighting.
You can argue that Beterbiev has more of an authentic Mexican style of fighting than Golovkin ever did, and he would be more comfortable fighting Canelo on the inside, using his powerful shot punches to do damage.
Beterbiev (16-0, 16 KOs) is one of the strong possibilities for Canelo’s next fight in May 2022, as he reportedly is interested in becoming a two-division undisputed champion.
Canelo defeated Caleb Plant in his last fight on November 6th to become the undisputed champion at 168, and he’s now turning his sights towards possibly going up to 175 to grab all the belts in that weight class.
Gvozdyk says Beterbiev will have problems with Canelo
“Congratulations to Canelo; it was a great victory,” said Oleksandr Gvozyk to ESNEWS on Canelo’s recent win over Caleb Plant. “For me, even though Plant did a great job, it wasn’t enough to beat Canelo.
“After the first round, I knew it was going to be over at some time in the second half of this fight,” Gvozdyk said of the Canelo vs. Plant match. “He [Canelo] showed the power.
“Now, he’s a big power in boxing, I think, and I think he [Canelo] has everything to be a champion at light heavyweight. Against Beterbiev, I think it’s going to be an interesting fight.
“Personally for me, the guy who fought Beterbiev who thinks he knows something about boxing, I think it’s going to be a tough fight for Beterbiev.
“Canelo is smaller, yes, but Beterbiev comes close to his opponents all the time and tries to break them down, which I don’t think he’ll be able to do against Canelo because he’s smart, has skills, and he’ll be able to absorb his power.
“It’s an interesting fight; it’s boxing but listen, Beterbiev can hit hard, and nobody knows. Canelo showed that he can stand those punches against GGG [Gennadiy Golovkin].
“Will he be able to do this against Beterbiev? It’s a question, and I think he will and would,” said Gvozdyk.
Hopefully, Canelo chooses to fight Beterbiev next because the two-time Russian Olympian is eager to fight him. Beterbiev joked last March that he’s been sitting by his phone waiting for Canelo to call him to set up the fight.
It would be a shame if Canelo waits another year or two before fighting Beterbiev, as the Russian fighter will be turning 37 next January, and he’s getting up there in age.
Assuming Canelo doesn’t want to look like he’s intentionally aging Beterbiev by waiting until he’s too old to beat him, it would be a good idea for him to make that fight next.
Gvozdyk likes Canelo vs. David Benavidez fight
“That’s another interesting fight,” said Gvozdyk when asked about his thoughts on Canelo fighting former two-time WBC super middleweight champion David Benavidez, who he sparred with in the past.
“Listen, anyone at 160 or 165, all the big guys from there, if they’re going to fight Canelo, it’s definitely going to be a tough fight for them. So, Benavidez has a great chance, he has good skills, and he’s big, strong, and I’d like to see this fight.
Gvozdyk has sparred with David Benavidez in the past, and he knows how hard he hits. The sparring was likely two years ago when Benavidez was only 22, and he’s now 24, viewed as the true #1 in the 168-lb division.
I mean, Canelo holds all the titles at super middleweight, but only because he beat four flawed champions in Rocky Fielding, Caleb Plant, Callum Smith, and Billy Joe Saunders.
It’s believed that Benavidez would have beaten all four of those fighters by knockout. Canelo seems to be dragging his feet about taking on the two-time former WBC super middleweight champion Benavidez (25-0, 22 KOs), and it’s starting to look obvious to even the casual boxing fans.
When you see Canelo choosing to take weak opposition like Avni Yildirim rather than Benavidez, it’s evident that he’s been milking his DAZN contract, taking zero risks for easy paydays.
Beating all the champions at 168 was no big deal because the belt-holders were flawed British fighters, Saunders, Fielding & Smith, along with the inexperienced American Caleb Plant, who had never beaten anyone of note during his career.
Oleksandr talks Shakur Stevenson sparring Lomachenko
“Listen, I didn’t say that Shakur [Stevenson] was better [than Vasily Lomachenko], but from what I was seeing, Shakur was the best from all those guys because all other guys were totally destroyed [by Loma in sparring], but not Shakur,” said Gvozdyk about Stevenson having done the best against Lomachenko compared to the other guys that came in for sparring against the former three-division world champion.
“Shakur did great, he was moving around, feinting, and a couple of times made Lomachenko miss, which other guys never did. So, he [Stevenson] was just better than others,” said Gvozdyk on Shakur sparring with Lomachenko.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum says he would like to set up a fight between Vasily Lomachenko and WBO super featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson in 2022.
First, Arum wants Stevenson to defend his WBO 130-lb title against former WBC super featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt.
If Shakur wins that fight, Lomachenko would be the next option, as long the two could agree. Stevenson wants to fight WBC champion Oscar Valdez, and he’s pushing Top Rank hard for them to make that fight.
Gvozdyk says Adonis Stevenson hit the hardest
“For sure, Adonis Stevenson,” said Gvozdyk when asked who was the hardest puncher he fought or sparred with during his career. “Beterbiev was in second place, but Stevenson, he hit harder,” said Gvozdyk.