Beterbiev-Browne set for December 17 in Montreal

 WBC/IBF unified light heavyweight world champion Artur Beterbiev moved to Montreal nearly a decade ago to embark on his professional journey following a pair of Olympic berths for his native Russia. Sixteen fights into his career, he will return to his adopted hometown for the first time as a world champion.

Beterbiev, boxing’s only world champion with a 100 percent knockout rate, will defend his world titles against WBC No. 1 contender and 2012 U.S. Olympian Marcus Browne on Friday Dec. 17 at the Bell Centre in Montreal.

Beterbiev-Browne will headline a loaded world title tripleheader streaming live and exclusively in the United States on ESPN+. Undefeated light flyweight contender Kim Clavel will challenge for the WBC title, while former IBF junior middleweight world champion Marie-Eve Dicaire will attempt to regain her crown. Full details regarding the Clavel and Dicaire fights will be announced shortly.

“This is the moment in my life that I’ve been waiting for and I’m ready to take advantage of it,” Browne said. “I know exactly what I have to do to take the titles from Beterbiev and that’s what I’m going to do.

“Beterbiev is the most avoided champion out there. He’s a great fighter, doesn’t make a lot of mistakes and is super strong. But I’m the better fighter and I’m here to show that come December 17. So, to my fans, know that I’m back and I’m here to stay. No controversial losses, no distractions, just straight work.”

Beterbiev (16-0, 16 KOs) last fought in Canada in December 2016, a first-round stoppage over Isidro Ranoni Prieto. He won the vacant IBF world title in his next fight, which he defended two times before unifying titles with a devastating 10th-round stoppage over longtime WBC king Oleksandr Gvozdyk. After a nearly 18-month absence, Beterbiev returned in March with a 10th-round TKO over Adam Deines in Moscow. Browne (24-1, 16 KOs), a 30-year-old native of Staten Island, New York, won an interim world title in January 2019 with a unanimous decision win over two-weight world champion Badou Jack. After dropping a technical decision to Jean Pascal in August 2019, Browne returned to his winning ways April 20 with a shutout decision over Denis Grachev.

Beterbiev KOs Deines to retain titles

Boxing’s preeminent knockout artist didn’t disappoint his partisan fans. Russia’s Artur Beterbiev, in his first bout in 17 months, knocked out Adam Deines in the 10th round to retain his WBC and IBF light heavyweight world titles Saturday at Megasport Arena in Moscow.

Beterbiev (16-0, 16 KOs) authored a fitting encore to his October 2019 TKO over Oleksandr Gvozdyk, the bout that solidified his place as the world’s best light heavyweight. Three fight dates — one against Meng Fanlong and two against Deines — were postponed before Beterbiev finally returned to the ring. Beterbiev maintained his status as boxing’s only world champion with a 100 percent knockout rate, returning home to the nation he represented at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. At 36 years old, it appears “King Artur” still has plenty of time left to reign.

Beterbiev clipped Deines (19-2-1, 10 KOs) with a left hook in the opening round, knocking the German to the canvas. The steady pressure of Beterbiev wore down Deines, who was in retreat mode for most of the fight. Then, in the 10th round, a sledgehammer left hook put Deines down again. Deines’ corner stopped the slaughter, and the crowd got the knockout they so craved.

Beterbiev now sets his sights on a potential unification matchup with the winner of the April 10 vacant WBO light heavyweight world title showdown between Joe Smith Jr. and Maxim Vlasov, which will air live on ESPN and ESPN+.

Beterbiev tests positive for COVID-19 fight with Deines postponed

 WBC/IBF light heavyweight world champion Artur Beterbiev has been forced to postpone his title defense against Adam Deines — scheduled for Jan. 30 at VTB Arena in Moscow, Russia — after being diagnosed with COVID-19.

Beterbiev and Deines were originally scheduled to fight Oct. 23, but Beterbiev suffered a rib injury in training. Information about the rescheduled Beterbiev-Deines showdown will be announced in due course.

Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs), the only current world champion with a 100 percent knockout rate, has not fought since his knockout victory over Oleksandr Gvozdyk in October 2019 to unify world titles.

Beterbiev-Deines set for January 30

The pandemic and an injury kept Artur Beterbiev out of the ring in 2020, but boxing’s most devastating knockout artist has a blank canvas as he prepares to kick off Top Rank on ESPN’s 2021 championship schedule in grand fashion.
 
Beterbiev, the unified WBC and IBF light heavyweight world champion, will defend his titles Saturday, Jan. 30 against Adam Deines at VTB Arena in Moscow, Russia. A two-time Olympian from Russia’s Chechnya region, Beterbiev has never fought in his home nation as a professional.
 
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Patriot Promotions, Beterbiev-Deines will stream live and exclusively on ESPN+ at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT, with undercard bouts to stream on ESPN+ at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.
 
“Artur Beterbiev is the world’s premier light heavyweight, and we eagerly await his ring return,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “We have unification plans for Artur next year, but he must first get past Adam Deines, a worthy, upset-minded challenger.”
 
Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs), boxing’s only world champion with a 100 percent knockout ratio, authored the signature win of his career in October 2019, when he knocked out Oleksandr Gvozdyk in the 10th round of a title unification fight in Philadelphia. The COVID-19 pandemic scuttled plans for a March 28 title defense against China’s Meng Fanlong, and the original Oct. 23 date for the Deines fight was postponed after Beterbiev suffered a rib injury in training. Deines (19-1-1, 10 KOs), ranked No. 5 by the IBF, was born in Russia and has made his professional home in Germany. The 29-year-old southpaw has won a pair of bouts via stoppage since the lone loss of his career, a June 2019 unanimous decision to Fanlong in Macau, China.
 
“I’m excited to have the chance to fight in my home country of Russia,” Beterbiev said. “This fight against Adam Deines means a lot to me, and you can be sure that I am preparing accordingly to honor this opportunity.”
 
Deines said, “I’ve been waiting to fight Beterbiev for a long time. I can’t wait to put forth the fight of my life to become unified world champion. Moscow, I’m coming.”
 

Bradley on Canelo fighting Bertebiev: ‘I don’t think he wants that’

On November 2 in Las Vegas, unified middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez is looking to add to his legacy when he goes up two weight classes to battle WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev. Because of his age(36) and his inability to take sustained work to the body, many believe that Kovalev will lose to Alvarez.

According to former world champion Timothy Bradley, Alvarez is moving up because Kovalev is not the fighter he used to be.

“Canelo is a smaller guy coming up to this weight class,” Bradley recently said. “He’s going to take that risk because Kovalev is kind of “watered down” a little bit. He’s been a little “long in the tooth,” so I think that’s the reason why he’s taking that risk.

“He sees an opportunity to break Kovalev down to the body. That’s his specialty, so he’s willing to take that risk and go up to fight at 175 pounds against a guy like that.”

It seems that this could be a one-fight thing for Canelo at 175, but if Alvarez does stick around at 175, fighting unified light heavy champion Artur Beterbiev, who stopped Oleksandr Gwozdyk on Friday, is a bad idea, according to Bradley.

“I don’t think so. I don’t think he wants that,” Bradley said. “I really don’t think Canelo wants that, that’s pain.”

Canelo’s move to 175 is similar to Roy Jones’ move to heavyweight to fight John Ruiz back in 2003. Jones did not try to fight Lennox Lewis, who was a belt holder at that time, he wanted to fight a guy he knew was beatable, and obviously, Alvarez is not going after Beterbiev. He is fighting a guy that he believes is beatable as well. We’ll see if that is the case on November 2.

Photo: Top Rank/Mikey Williams

Beterbiev: ‘I’m focused on title, not on name’

It was a savage light heavyweight battle that lived up to the Philadelphia billing. Artur Beterbiev, in a back-a-forth affair, knocked out Oleksandr Gvozdyk in the 10th round to unify the WBC/IBF light heavyweight titles Saturday evening at the Liacouras Center.

Beterbiev knocked down Gvozdyk three times in the 10th, as referee Gary Rosato immediately waved off the fight following the third knockdown.

Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs) was behind on two of the three judges’ scorecards at the time of the stoppage.

“We work in the gym We work hard, and we have some targets,” Beterbiev said. “My first target, second target and other one comes soon.

“It doesn’t matter {who I fight next.} Anyone. I’m focused on title, not on name.”

Abdukakhorov Defeats Collazo:

Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (17-0, 9 KOs) maintained his status as the IBF No. 1 welterweight contender, scoring a unanimous technical decision (99-91, 98-92 and 97-93) over former world title challenger Luis Collazo (39-8, 20 KOs) after a cut opened up above Collazo’s right eye in the 10th and final round.

“I am the IBF No. 1 contender, and I would like to fight for the title fight next,” Abdukakhorov said. “I wanted to fight Errol Spence Jr., but unfortunately he got in a car accident. I wish him a speedy recovery, and if he’s ready to fight soon, I would like to fight him. If he has to vacate the title, then I will fight whoever they put in front of me.”

Collazo injured his biceps in the fifth round and was unable to throw his left hand much throughout the second half of the fight.

“Hey, it is what it is. This is part of the sport,” Collazo said. “We’ll see what’s next.”

Photo: Top Rank: Mikey Williams