A purse bid has been set for Friday by the WBC for the ordered interim light heavyweight title fight between Eleider Alvarez and Oleksandr Gvozdyk, and for once, there’s actually some intrigue in a purse bid.
That’s because both fighters have power players backing them, as Alvarez is represented by the Premier Boxing Champions conglomerate and Al Haymon, and Gvozdyk by Bob Arum and Top Rank. The two sides haven’t bothered to negotiate at all, which as Dan Rafael notes, is no surprise given the bad blood between the companies.
Alvarez (23-0, 11 KO) has been mandatory challenger to WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson for years now, but has consistently stepped aside to allow Stevenson to take other fights. The WBC recently pretended to put their foot down about it, which resulted in Stevenson being allowed to take another optional defense against Badou Jack, and Alvarez forced into an interim title fight with Gvozdyk, as if anyone takes interim titles seriously, or it’s some sort of reward to be tasked with fighting Gvozdyk (14-0, 12 KO), a rising star in the division.
That said, it’s a good matchup that, ignoring the facts around it, is perfectly good to have coming at some point, and the same goes for Stevenson-Jack. We really should be getting Stevenson-Alvarez, but we’re just not. Again.
Alvarez fought twice in 2017, scoring his two most commercially notable wins. He knocked out Lucian Bute in the fifth round in February, then won a decision over Jean Pascal in June.
Gvozdyk also went 2-0 in 2017, stopping Yunieski Gonzalez in three rounds in April, and then putting away Craig Baker in six in August. He’s won his last eight fights by stoppage.
The purse bid is structured so that Alvarez gets a 60-40 split of the winning bid, and I suppose there’s a chance Top Rank could pull Gvozdyk out of the whole thing if they don’t like what goes down with the bid, but the best bet is both sides will put a legitimate best bid in to try and win this fight, making for fair paydays for both sides.
Rafael also notes that if Top Rank win the bid, they will look to have the fight on ESPN “as soon as March.”