Light heavyweight contender Artur Beterbiev (11-0 11 KOs) is one fight away from becoming a world champion in one of the most talent rich divisions in the sport.
Beterbiev will face Enrico Koelling on November 11th in Fresno, California for the vacant IBF light heavyweight belt. The fight will be televised by ESPN as part of Top Rank's boxing series on the network.
Initially, the fight was a final eliminator for a crack at champion Andre Ward. But a few weeks ago, Ward announced his retirement from the sport - which in turn vacated the IBF belt.
Beterbiev says he would have been 100% ready to face Ward (32-0, 16 KOs) - had the undefeated Olympic gold medal winner continued his career. With Ward walking away, Beterbiev believes its not yet clear as to which boxer is the top fighter at 175-pounds.
"Ward decided to leave, so it is his decision. I was ready for the fight against him or any other opponent for the title. As for the best fighter in the division, it would be fair to wait until the title fights are over and then organize the fights between the title holders," Beterbiev told On The Ropes Boxing Radio.
"I think the fans must be excited about this. There are many good fighters in the division, so, hopefully, they will see lots of goods fights in the future. It is good for the fans of boxing. I am ready to face anyone in the division. Kovalev, Stevenson or any other fighter. I will be able to give more details if any of them becomes my future opponent. For the moment I am focused on Koelling only."
Although all of his fights have closed out before the distance, Beterbiev is unsure at the final outcome of his next contest - but he plans to put in a spectacular performance to capture the title.
"I cannot predict the result of this fight. But I will try to be in the best shape, because, above all, I must be satisfied with my preparation for this fight. I am very much critical of myself and always set the highest goals before me. That’s why I must prove to myself that I am ready to show my best skills during this fight," Beterbiev said.