“Might Gvozdyk—by some distance the best fighter he’s faced as a professional—fold Beterbiev early? Certainly. We don’t yet know whether Beterbiev can take the kind of power Gvozdyk did against Stevenson. He’s also hit the canvas early against fighters nowhere near Gvozdyk’s level. A momentary carelessness in the first round of his 2014 fight against Jeff Page Jr. left Beterbiev on his trunks. He explained away the knockdown, saying, “I felt a bit sleepy before the fight. I think I just lost my concentration for a fraction of a second.” If Beterbiev loses his concentration against Gvozdyk, further sleepiness awaits. A year ago, Callum Johnson dropped Beterbiev hard with a counter hook. Beterbiev’s fighting arrogance, his belief that he needn’t land clean to hurt his opponent, played a role in both knockdowns and, it should be noted, the stoppages he scored when he regained his feet. It will be interesting to see how that arrogance factors Friday, should Gvozdyk not only withstand Beterbiev’s assault but reciprocate.”
Read The Imminent: Oleksandr Gvozdyk-Artur Beterbiev Preview on Hannibal Boxing.