Former WBC light heavyweight champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk says he believes Canelo Alvarez can beat IBF/WBC champion Artur Beterbiev because he’s got the skills, defense, and more than enough power to defeat the Russian fighter.
Gvozdyk says WBA 175-lb champion Dmitry Bivol will give Canelo more trouble than Beterbiev (17-0, 17 KOs), who he personally feels is overestimated in the power department. If Canelo does move up to 175, Gvozdyk sees him facing Beterbiev rather than Bivol.
Despite losing to Beterbiev by a tenth round knockout in October 2019, Gvozdyk remains unimpressed, and he thinks Canelo will be too skilled.
It’s unknown whether Canelo will choose to move up to 175, as he’s been secretive about his plans for his next fight.
For Canelo to choose to fight at 175, it would be a considerable risk on his part compared to what we’ve seen from him in the last four years, mostly knocking off champions from England.
Beterbiev is a lot more dangerous than the opposition that Canelo has been feasting on since 2018, which is why he might not be willing to take that risk.
Canelo will be champion at 175
If Canelo does go up to 175, he’s got a chance of beating the aging Beterbiev, as he’s getting up there in age at 37. That’s almost as old as Gennady Golovkin, and Beterbiev is starting to show signs of slowing down.
“Beterbiev, Bivol, and I also think Canelo,” said Gvozyk to Fight Hub TV on who the best fighters at 175. “If he [Canelo] goes up [to light heavyweight], he has a great chance.
“He’s a really strong, slick fighter, and I think he has a great chance to be a champion out there,” said Gvozyk on his view that Canelo can be a champion at 175.
“I think in this case, people say ‘styles make fights. So, I think [Canelo] has a really good chance of beating Beterbiev, even though Beterbiev is bigger and stronger.
“But we’re not talking about Canelo like he’s a weak guy. He’s definitely not a weak guy, and he’s strong enough to be competitive at light heavyweight.
“He always showed it against [Sergey] Kovalev, and Kovalev is not the weakest guy. So, Beterbiev is stronger, but I still think the crucial are going to be Canelo’s skills and defense and offense after the defense.
“Exactly, that’s what I’m thinking,” said Gvozdyk when told that Canelo’s trainer Eddy Reynoso thinks Beterbiev is just straightforward with no special effects, and the speed of Canelo will complicate things.
“Canelo already showed that he’s capable of absorbing those kinds of punches against GGG. Listen, GGG is phenomenal as a puncher and as a boxer as well,” said Gvozdyk.
Beterbiev’s power is overrated
Gvozdyk was stopped in the tenth round by Beterbiev two years ago in October 2019, and that tells that the Russian fighter hits hard enough. In that fight, the shots that Beterbiev was hurting Gvozdyk with were to the body.
He was putting everything he had into the body shots, and they wore Gvozdyk down him down slowly.
“So, Beterbiev, he’s strong, he’s coming forward, but in my opinion, I think he’s an underestimated boxer and an overestimated as a puncher,” said Gvozyk. “This is my opinion. I fought the guy. Don’t get me wrong, he hits really hard, but you can stand those punches.
“I think Canelo will definitely be able to stand those kinds of punches, but Canelo’s skills, Canelo’s defensiveness, elusiveness, I think this is going to be crucial in their fight.
“I think he would,” Gvozdyk about his belief that Canelo will be able to take Beterbiev’s power. “Beterbiev, he’s very strong physically. His power is coming from his strength, not his explosiveness or speed.
“When he hits you, it’s like a train coming to you. I was comparing it to [Adonis] Stevenson and Beterbiev. Stevenson hits you; it’s like somebody shooting you with a sniper rifle.
“This guy [Beterbiev] just has really heavy fists. That’s the kind of power he has. My opinion as well. I think [Dmitry Bivol] can give him more trouble than Beterbiev.
“Listen, I don’t know,” said Gvozdyk when asked how Bivol would give Canelo a lot of trouble. “I personally don’t believe this is going to happen.
“It’s more realistic to me to make it against Beterbiev, but who knows? It’s the work of managers and promoters.
“That’s another guy that I think has a great chance against Canelo and against other light heavyweights,” said Gvozdyk about David Benavidez.
Canelo can take the headshots from Beterbeiv, but the body shots could be the real issue.
Beterbiev will be hitting Canelo to the body, and he’s not going to be able to get out of the way of them.
Canelo is really good at avoiding headshots or rolling with them to take the sting off of them, but he can’t do anything to prevent the hard punches to the midsection Beterbiev will be hammering him with.
Gvozyk picks Usyk to beat Joshua
We don’t know if Anthony Joshua will even fight Oleksandr Usyk again, as there’s talk that AJ will be given step aside money from overseas to get him out of the way so that Tyson Fury could take the fight with the IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion.
“It was a brilliant performance,” said Gvozdyk when asked about his thoughts on Oleksandr Usyk defeating Anthony Joshua last September in a big upset win in London, England. “I was kind of skeptical about it, even though he’s my friend.
“I will try to be honest and fair. He [Usyk] did a brilliant job, which I think he’s going to do in the rematch, and then we’ll see. It’s up to him what he’s going to do next.
“Those guys, Fury, I think are too dangerous [for Usyk], but listen, Usyk knows how to impress, and I believe he can do everything.
“It really depends on Joshua,” said Gvozdyk when asked if Usyk makes it look easy in the rematch with Joshua. “I think now you’re seeing Joshua saying he’s going to kill him and make him [feel] pain.
“It means the situation really bothers him. I don’t know. Sometimes it’s good; sometimes, it’s counterproductive for Joshua.
“So, it really depends on what kind of mindset Joshua is going to have in the rematch. But in the rematch, I would definitely bet on Usyk,” said Gvozdyk.
Joshua is talking crazy lately about fighting Usyk again and roughing him up. AJ sounds like he’s not thinking with a clear head right now, and he could be asking for trouble.
Gvozdyk considering unretiring
It’s only been a little over two years since Gvozyk last fought in October 2019, so it’s not too late for him to stage a comeback.
At 34, Gvozdyk is still young enough to pick up where he left off, but he obviously, shouldn’t jump straight into a fight with a slugger like Beterbiev, Joe Smith Jr., or Joshua Buatsi.
Assuming Gvozdyk plays his cards right, he could get a big payday fight against Canelo if he gets lucky. Canelo might want a tune-up to get him ready for a battle against Beterbiev or Bivol, and Gvozdyk would be ideal.
“Maybe now is the time to come back. I’m not saying I’m coming back, but I’m training, and it’s got to be something interesting,” said Oleksandr Gvozyk on him potentially coming out of his three-year retirement.
“Why not? I’m open to it, yeah. I’d be interested, but my name in the United States isn’t that big,” said Gvozyk when asked if he’d be interested in returning to the ring for an exhibition fight.
“Who is going to be interested in seeing me against Jake Paul? Everybody knows who Jake Paul is, but who knows who the hell I am, right?
“I don’t think the boxing fans are really interested in the exhibition fights. Maybe, but I don’t think it’s something that is going to make me interested,” said Gvozdyk.
It would be ridiculous for Gvozdyk to believe that he would be considered for an exhibition match against YouTuber Jake Paul. That guy is only facing non-boxers, and he’s not about to take on a former light heavyweight champion like Gvozdyk.