The Liacouras Center is going to add another title fight to its ever growing boxing resume on Friday, October 18th as Oleksander Gvozdyk meets Artur Betebiev as they attempt to unify the WBC and IBF light heavyweight titles in a Ukraine versus Russia matchup.
Gvozdyk is the more experienced of the two fighters at 17-0-0 with 14KOs and has a signature win to take that title, stopping Adonis Stevenson back in 2018. He also has the most notable figure outside of the ring in his corner, as he’s trained by Teddy Atlas, Artur Betebiev is a however a Russian dynamo of Ivan Drago like stats. In his professional career, he was fought and won 14 times, with none of his opponents able to finish the fight against him.
The Russia Ukraine rivalry may run deep, but these two have also meet before in the amateurs. It was Betebiev, who took that nod, but now the two will meet again as champions, and look make the other a former champion. The winner of this matchup will also be the the front runner to be known as the premier light heavyweight of the day. They would own the lions share of titles, and longtime champion Sergei Kovalev faces off against Canelo Alvarez in just a few weeks.
There are more attractions on the card than just the title fight. It could be a coming out party for Kudratillo Abdukakhorov, (16-0-0 9KOs) a promising welterweight from Uzbekistan. He’ll be taking on Luis Collazo (39-7-0 20KOs) , a former world title holder with more than double the experience. That is the co feature bout of the evening.
Also on the card is light heavyweight contender Michael Seals (23-2-0 17KOs) who could use a good performance over Elio Heraldo Trosch (14-8-2 7KOs) to show why he might belong in the title conversation.
Next up, is a series of undefeated fighters, expect for Josue Vargas (14-1-0 9KOs), who only has one loss but is still an exciting prospect at super lightweight. He’ll take on Johnny Rodriguez (9-4-1 6KOs ) a veteran out to prove there is still some life in his hands.
John Bauza (13-0-0 5KOs) has been impressive so far, but will take on another more experienced opponent in Donald Ward (11-11-1 5KOs). “El Terrible” hasn’t dropped a round in the eyes of the judges in any of his decision wins, and has shown pop with his five stoppages. We’ll see if the trend continues as he runs up the super lightweight division.
There will be a little double trouble on the card as brothers Joseph and Jeremy Adorno will both enter the ring in the city of Brotherly Love. Joseph “Blessed Hands” Adorno (13-0-0 11KOs) is the older of the two and more experienced. He’s racked up victories in rapid succession in the lightweight division. He’ll take on the Damian Alejandro Sosa (9-2-0 7KOs) who has stumbled recently but has some power and talent.
His brother Jeremy “Magic Hands” Adorno (2-0 1KO) got his first stoppage last time out in the Liacouras Center, and will look to continue the magic against Misael Reyes (1-2-0). The fight takes place in the super bantamweight division.
One of Philly’s new favorite heavyweights will also appear on the card, as Sonny “The Bronco” Conto (4-0-0 3KOs) will take on Steven Lyons (5-5-0 2KOs). “The Lion King” will have his hands full with Conto, as the long and athletic heavyweight is quickly gaining attention every time he steps into the ring. His last fight was an impressive performance at the Liacouras Center back in August.
Julian “Hammer Hands” Rodriguez is also currently scheduled to appear on the card as well. The super lightweight prospect has built up a 17-0-0 record with 11 knockouts. After a two year layoff due to injuries Rodriguez rebounded with a first round knockout against Hevinson Herrera. He might be the next Philadelphia fighter to start making noise around the title scene.