Beterbiev-Yarde set for January 28 in London

London calls for the light-heavyweight king. WBC, WBO and IBF world champion Artur Beterbiev will defend his belts against big-punching British challenger Anthony Yarde at the OVO Arena Wembley on Saturday, January 28.

The WBO No.1 contender gets his shot at the Montreal-based Beterbiev (18-0, 18 KOs), boxing’s only world champion with a 100 percent knockout ratio. He will be fighting professionally in the United Kingdom for the first time, with the highly decorated former amateur having fought in London at the 2012 Olympic Games.

Promoted by Frank Warren and Queensberry, in association with Top Rank, this huge 175-pound showdown will be shown exclusively on BT Sport in the UK and streaming live and exclusively on ESPN+ in the U.S.

Tickets for Beterbiev vs Yarde at The O2 on Saturday 28 January 2023 go on general sale at 11am on Thursday 24 November from AXS.com and ticketmaster.co.uk.

“This will undoubtedly be the biggest challenge of Anthony’s career to date, and we have made sure he will get the best conditions possible by securing him home advantage,” said Yarde’s promoter, Frank Warren of Queensberry. “It is going to be a huge occasion at the OVO Arena Wembley, which is the same venue where Anthony made his professional debut in May 2015.

“Of course, we know a great champion like Beterbiev has no fears of traveling and virtually all of his biggest wins have come outside his now home nation of Canada. Boxing is all about timing, and we are hoping the time is right for Anthony to fulfill his huge potential and pull off what would be one of the biggest wins by a British fighter.

“This is going to be a spectacular show staged in conjunction with our friends at Top Rank, and I am sure it is an event the public will get behind in massive numbers to support Anthony’s attempt to achieve his dream.”

“This is a matchup between two of the most devastating light heavyweight punchers, and I look forward to the great Artur Beterbiev showcasing his prodigious talent for the incredible UK fans,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Anthony Yarde was ringside for Artur’s last fight, and he certainly does not lack confidence. He is a dangerous fighter, and I know Artur will be switched on for one of the toughest bouts of his illustrious career.”

Beterbiev won his first world title in November 2017 with a 12th-round stoppage of Enrico Koelling and defended his IBF belt on two further occasions – including against Britain’s Callum Johnson – before entering into a unification match against WBC champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk in October 2019.  Ukrainian puncher Gvozdyk, who was unbeaten at the time, was stopped in the 10th round. Beterbiev defended his titles against Adam Deines and Marcus Browne ahead of a three-belt unification against WBO champion Joe Smith Jr. in June at Hulu Theater Madison Square Garden, where the American was stopped in two rounds. In the amateur ranks, Beterbiev won silver at the 2007 World Championships before striking gold at the 2009 event. He also won gold medals at the 2006 and 2010 European Championships.

“I never back down from a challenge, and Anthony Yarde is a top contender who asked for this fight. I look forward to fighting in London for the first time since the Olympics,” Beterbiev said. “Yarde called me ‘slow’ after my fight with Joe Smith Jr., but slow and steady wins the race. And on January 28, I will win in London.”

The Wembley event represents a second world title attempt from Yarde (23-2, 22 KOs) who previously travelled to Chelyabinsk, Russia, to take on the long-standing champion Sergey Kovalev, ultimately being stopped in the 11th round after coming close to forcing a finish himself in the eighth round. Yarde’s first title came in fight No. 11 when he knocked out Chris Hobbs in four rounds for the Southern Area belt.

Yarde then fought seven consecutive fights with either the WBO European or Intercontinental belts at stake, or both, as Yarde knocked out each of those foes in seven rounds or less. Post-Kovalev, Yarde continued with fights during the pandemic against Dec Spelman and a domestic dust-up against Lyndon Arthur. Yarde dropped a split decision against his Manchester rival, and after a swift comeback fight in Birmingham, Yarde sought redemption against Arthur. The vintage Yarde returned, and he knocked out Arthur in four rounds to once again earn the WBO No. 1 spot.

“January 28 will be my night,” said Yarde. “My destiny playing out in my home city, and this is what I have been longing for throughout my professional career, which started at Wembley. I won’t make any big predictions for this fight against a strong unified champion in Artur Beterbiev, but what I will say is that I will leave nothing to chance, and I am at my best when I fight fire with fire.”

Beterbiev: ‘I want to be undisputed’

What we saw Saturday night at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden was the best 175-pounder doing what he has done his whole career, knocking people out!!

Unified 175-pound champion Artur Beterbiev(18-0, 18 KOs), the three-belt light heavyweight champion, stopped Joe Smith Jr. (28-4, 22 KOs) in the second round. Beterbiev knocked down Smith three times during the one-sided beatdown, picking up Smith’s WBO belt and moving one step closer to becoming an undisputed champion at 175 pounds.

Beterbiev dropped Smith with a right hand in the closing seconds of the opening round, and in the second round, a Beterbiev left hook nearly sent Smith through the ropes. He rose to his feet, but the end was near—a pair of uppercuts, followed by a sweeping right hand. From there, referee Harvey Dock put a halt to the action.

“My coach told me it’s not too far until I become a good boxer,” Beterbiev said. “Joe’s a little bit open, and it was more easy for me to get him. {Both of us} have a good punch, and both tried to {connect} first. I’m lucky that I was first.”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 18: Artur Beterbiev celebrates after defeating Joe Smith Jr, during their WBC,IBF and WBO light heavyweight Championship fight, at The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on June 18, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Sitting ringside was British contender Anthony Yarde, who may be in line for a shot at Beterbiev this fall. Beterbiev’s preference is a fight with WBA champion Dmitry Bivol, who recently defeated Canelo Alvarez. 

“Unification fights are more interesting, more motivating,” Beterbiev said. “I prefer unification fight. I want to be undisputed.”

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has been on record in saying Beterbiev would travel to London to battle the Anthony Yarde in the fall, but the fight to make is Beterbiev-Bivol for all the belts. That fight would be the classic boxer versus puncher, which makes that fight so interesting!! Can Bivol stand up to Beterbiev’s power, or will Bivol outbox him? Hopefully, we’ll see that sometime down the line. 

Beterbiev-Smith unification bout set for June 18 at Hulu Theater at MSG

Three belts and light heavyweight supremacy will be at stake when WBC/IBF world champion Artur Beterbiev meets WBO champion Joe Smith Jr. in a highly anticipated unification showdown Saturday, June 18, at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.

Beterbiev, boxing’s only world champion with a 100 percent knockout rate, hopes to pick up another strap against “Cinderella Man” Smith, a Long Island native who grew up about 70 miles from Madison Square Garden.

In the 10-round featherweight co-feature, two-time Cuban Olympic gold medalist Robeisy “El Tren” Ramirez will battle the unbeaten Abraham “El Super” Nova. Beterbiev-Smith and Ramirez-Nova will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

Beterbiev (17-0, 17 KOs), a two-time Russian Olympian, has spent his nine-year pro career based in Montreal, Canada. He has been a world champion since knocking out Enrico Koelling for the IBF strap in November 2017. He’s won five title fights inside the distance since then, including an off-the-deck victory over Callum Johnson and a title unification classic versus Oleksandr Gvozdyk in 2019. Beterbiev went 2-0 in 2021, capping the year with December’s brutal ninth-round stoppage over longtime contender Marcus Browne.

“I look forward to the challenge ahead of me. Joe Smith Jr. is a worthy champion, but I am coming to Madison Square Garden to add another world title to my collection,” Beterbiev said. “This fight will get me one step closer to becoming undisputed champion.”

Smith (28-3, 22 KOs) earned mainstream recognition with his 2016 knockout of living legend Bernard Hopkins and scored standout wins over Jesse Hart and Eleider Alvarez in 2020. In his second world title attempt, he outlasted Maxim Vlasov in a 2021 Fight of the Year Contender. Smith successfully defend his world title in January with a ninth-round stoppage over late replacement Steve Geffrard.

Smith said, “I am extremely excited and focused on this task I have ahead. Facing Beterbiev is huge. It is going to be a fight that fans remember forever, with two of the biggest punches in boxing today facing off. This opportunity is a dream of mine to accomplish. Fighting with three titles on the line is one step closer to becoming undisputed.”

Ramirez (9-1, 5 KOs) has been on a sterling run since a shocking loss in his August 2019 professional debut. An Olympic champion in 2012 and 2016, Ramirez is coming off one-sided victories over the unbeaten Orlando Gonzalez and Irish veteran Eric Donovan. Nova (21-0, 15 KOs), who spent much of his career at junior lightweight, has been flawless since moving up to the featherweight ranks. Born in Puerto Rico and raised in Albany, New York, Nova knocked out William Encarnacion in eight rounds on the Smith-Geffrard undercard in January.

The undercard, which will stream live and exclusively on ESPN+, is scheduled to feature many of the sport’s rising superstars. In six-round bouts, Brooklyn-born featherweight puncher Bruce “Shu Shu” Carrington (3-0, 2 KOs) and Long Island welterweight Jahi Tucker (7-0, 4 KOs) hope to extend their unbeaten records. U.S. Olympian Troy Isley (5-0, 3 KOs), fresh off his knockout win on the Oscar Valdez-Shakur Stevenson undercard, returns in a six-round middleweight bout. Featherweight Kurt Walker (2-0, 1 KO) and junior middleweight Kieran Molloy (1-0, 1 KO), both of whom starred for the Irish national team as amateurs, will make their respective U.S. debuts.

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