Two of the light heavyweight champions have come to agreement to unify their titles. Top Rank – Bob Arum will bring big time in this division going back to when J Russell Peltz promoted at the Spectrum in Philadelphia had the best of that division fighting one another. He named Mike “The Jewish Bomber” Rossman, Dwight “The Camden Buzzsaw” Qawi, Jerry “The Bull” Martin, Marvin Johnson as some of those 175 pounder’s at a press conference and dinner Tuesday night.
Representing Top Rank was IBHOF inductee the likeable Lee Samuels who heads their PR department. “Raging Babe” – Michelle Rosado was master of ceremonies and did an excellent job of it as usual, said “the main event will be on ESPN”. The Center is Temple Universities on North Broad near Allegheny.
WBC World champion Oleksandr “The Nail” Gvozdyk, 17-0 (14), of Ukraine living in Oxnard, CA, meets IBF World champion Artur Beterbiev, 14-0 (14), of Russia living in Montreal, Canada in a light heavyweight unification match. The dinner was elegant and this writer had the pleasure of sitting next to Linda Peltz the lovely wife of J Russell Peltz, IBHOF inductee. Across the table was amateur boxing historian John “The Ice Man” Scully working with the Beterbiev team with trainer Marc Ramsay.
Beterbiev said he fought Gvozdyk in the amateurs and Gvozdyk said his nose was broke by Beterbiev and stopped in the second round. In politics Ukraine and Russia are bitter enemies like Mexico is with Puerto Rico so expect plenty of action in this fight.
When asked what’s next after this fight Beterbiev said “I take one fight at a time”. Gvozdyk is trained by Teddy Atlas and said of his trainer “Teddy is very picky, very particular, and is what you need”.
Both camps wanted a unification fight. Russians Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev holds the WBO title and Dmitry Bivol the WBA champ. So you have three Russians and one Ukrainian holding title’s.
The co-feature has former WBA Welterweight champion southpaw Luis Collazo, 39-7 (20), of Queens, NY, taking on Kudratillo Abdukakhorov, UZB, out of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 10 rounds. In another 10 is Light Heavyweight Michael Seals, 23-2 (17), of Farburn, GA, meeting Elio “LaMaquina” Trosch, 14-8-2 (7), of Santiago del Estero, ARG.
In three Super Lightweight bouts Josue “The Prodigy” Vargas, 14-1 (9), of PR out of the Bronx, NY, meets Johnny “the Punisher” Rodriguez, 9-4-1 (6). John “El Terrible” Bauza, 13-0 (5), of PR out of Bergen, NJ, meets Donald “Bulldog” Ward, 11-11-1 (5), of Memphis, TN. Julian “Hammer Hands” Rodriguez, 17-0 (11), of Hasbrouck Heights, NJ, meets tba.