By Kelsey McCarson | | 4 mins
Oleksandr Gvozdyk vs Artur Beterbiev Odds, Tips & Picks
Sometimes the stars align to produce an even boxing betting matchup between two undefeated stalwarts seemingly in their primes in a fight that legitimately could go either way. Such is the case on Friday night in Philadelphia when undefeated WBC light heavyweight champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk takes on IBF titleholder Artur Beterbiev in a 175-pound world title unification bout.
The bout also carries some added historical significance to those who track lineal boxing championships. According to those observers, Gvozdyk is the lineal light heavyweight champion, so that important-to-some but virtually made-up conceptual championship will also be on the line.
Gvozdyk-Beterbiev is a really big deal.
Gvozdyk vs Beterbiev Betting Odds and Info
Oddsmakers see Gvozdyk, 32, from Ukraine, as the slight favorite. According to 888Sport, Gvozdyk is -135 to defeat Beterbiev, +105, with the draw priced at +2500. FanDuel offers similar action via the two-way moneyline with Gvozdyk at -129 and Beterbiev at +100.
Either way, it’s a virtual pick’em between two of the top light heavyweights in the world. According to The Ring magazine, Gvozdyk is ranked No. 1 in the division with Beterbiev, 34, from Russia, at No. 4.
The fight will headline a Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card telecast live from the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia beginning at 10 p.m. ET.
But for a boxing betting tip, who should you back in the fight?
Gvozdyk vs Beterbiev Betting Analysis
Gvozdyk is the slight favorite because he’s younger, taller and has a longer reach. Moreover, his best win was a stunning knockout of previously undefeated divisional kingpin Adonis Stevenson last year, and there’s nothing even as close to as good of a win as that on Berterbiev’s record.
There’s also probably a little bit of confirmation bias associated with Gvozdyk involved because he came up through the amateur system in Ukraine alongside Vasyl Lomachenko and Oleksandr Usyk. Both of those men have gone on to become pound-for-pound elites, so some people think Gvozdyk will, too.
But Beterbiev was long considered the most dangerous dark horse in the 175-pound division and that could at least be part of why he didn’t get the same kind of chance Gvozdyk did against Stevenson.
Additionally, a closer inspection of Gvozdyk’s best win actually reveals that it came against a 41-year-old Stevenson in a back-and-forth battle. Stevenson was actually ahead on the judges’ scorecards at the time of the 11th-round stoppage.
Gvozdyk vs Beterbiev Best Bet to Back
Don’t back Gvozdyk just because he beat Stevenson. If you want to argue that he’s the better overall boxer and can pivot away from danger while throwing hard enough punches at Beterbiev to keep his opponent careful, that’s a decent boxing betting strategy. After all, Gvozdyk has absolutely earned his share of the limelight right now, and he’s a very good light heavyweight boxer.
But Beterbiev seems to throw harder, more precise and faster punches. It might not look as crafty as Gvozdyk’s style, but it’s super effective and lets Beterbiev find his range and let his hand go.
Backing Beterbiev by any method at plus money is the best bet on the board. He’s the less popular fighter so most of the public money leans the other way. But Beterbiev has been the boogeyman of the light heavyweight division for some time and he’ll finally have the opportunity show why against Gvozdyk.