Former WBC title holder in the light heavyweight division (up to 79.4 kg) Ukrainian Oleksandr Gvozdyk, who ended his career after losing the title in a fight with Artur Beterbiev in October 2018, gave
interview for the YouTube channel “Shipshina Show”.
In a conversation, the ex-champion spoke in Ukrainian and spoke about an unsuccessful business, relations with former teammates “Ukrainian Atamans”, and also commented on a possible fight for the title of absolute champion of the heavyweight division (over 90.7 kg) between the unified champion from Ukraine Alexander Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs) and WBC title holder Briton Tyson Fury (32-0-1, 23 KOs).
– How did you develop relations with the guys from the “Ukrainian Atamans”. Do you communicate with Lomachenko, Denis Berinchyk?
– No, I only communicate with Sasha (Usyk). For some reason I don’t communicate with Vasya at all. Relations? You know, we’re all adults now. Everyone fled to different parts of the world, everyone has their own families, so everyone has their own life. But the relationship is normal. For example, if we meet with Sasha, then 90% that we just relax together.
– Recently, Usyk once again defeated Anthony Joshua, once again confirmed how high-class boxer he is, and now everyone is talking about the future fight between Alexander Usyk and Tyson Fury. Do you think this fight will take place at all, and what would be your prediction for this fight?
— I think it will. Because it is interesting for both boxers – both Sasha and Tyson. And it’s interesting for the fans, because they have to determine, probably, the first heavyweight in history to hold all the belts. This is very interesting for the boxing world. Regarding the prediction for this fight, you know, I really don’t like hypocrisy, so I’ll say it the way I spoke with Joshua. I think this is a difficult fight for Sasha. But this is very important. I support him and I support his decision because this is the peak of his career. I think that’s exactly what he can do. I believe he will do it, but it won’t be easy, that’s 100%. But this is what he should do, and he has already taught us all to surprise us with some such accomplishments. I think he will do it again.
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“I heard that Fury asked for $500 million for this fight. Will there be enough money to pay him? I think it’s a fantastic amount. But it seems to me that 50 or 100 is quite possible. That is, he thus attracts attention to himself, or for what purpose is this all? Hitting the price?
– Yes, that is right. Selling this fight. Because who is interested in my fights when I am silent, preparing and then boxing? I wonder when there will be some kind of quarrel or fight at press conferences – it’s always more interesting. And he’s a pro at it.
– Still, when boxers are visiting us, we always find something in common between boxing and show business.
– It’s the same thing. This is very related in professional boxing. If you don’t want business, then you can box as an amateur, and professional sports exist to entertain people.
– A few days ago, at a press conference, Usyk was again asked about Crimea, where he replied that Crimea is Ukraine. Alexander, how do you feel about the fact that athletes are often asked questions related to politics and acute social issues? Is it right to draw politics into sports and sports politics?
“Listen, everyone always says that sport is out of politics, but in fact it has never been so. It seems to me that sport is a very strong weapon to influence people. And of course, if the audience looks at famous athletes, then they will lean towards their thoughts. Both sports and religion are all tools of influence, in my opinion. Therefore, of course, sport is used as a weapon in political moments. Sasha is now probably the most popular athlete from Ukraine, in my opinion. Who else? There are probably some footballers, but he is constantly on the radar, people follow him. This is such a hot question in Ukraine, that’s why they ask him.
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– When you announced the decision to end your boxing career, you said that you were going to do business. We know that this is the gaming business. Tell me, please, do you continue to do it now, and in general, do you regret the decision you made, because we were all rooting for you, waiting for the fights?
– You know, first of all, I am no longer in the gaming business. I probably would have, but I was released from it, as they are now freeing all other Ukrainians. Do I regret it? No, I don’t regret it at all, even though I lost money because I invested in this project. But you know this, as in a joke, when two people meet – one with money and the other with experience, the first one leaves with experience, and the second with money. This probably happened in my case as well. I am 100% not sorry, because I made new acquaintances, new contacts, gained experience. This is good. I have a head, hands, and during this time there was a coronavirus. The sports world didn’t move very fast either. Look at light heavyweights. They didn’t have many fights. Beterbiev and Bivol – two fights each. Yes, Beterbiev was able to unify the belts, Bivol beat Canelo, but it’s still two fights in 3 years. So I don’t think I’ve lost much.