By Keith Idec, photos by Robert Levesque/Photo Zone Sport
Isidro Prieto tried to go toe-to-toe with Artur Beterbiev on Friday night.
He paid dearly for that strategic mistake.
The heavy-handed Beterbiev dropped Prieto twice and needed just 2:44 to stop him in the first round of scheduled 12-round main event in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada. Beterbiev, who has knocked out each of the 11 opponents he has faced since he turned pro in June 2013, demolished an experienced, powerful opponent who had not been knocked out in any his first 30 professional fights.
A short right hand by Beterbiev floored Prieto barely 30 seconds into the fight for the vacant WBC silver light heavyweight title. Paraguay’s Prieto (26-2-3, 22 KOs) got up and tried to fend off the Russian knockout artist’s powerful shots.
With less than 30 seconds to go in the first round, though, another Beterbiev right hand wobbled Prieto again. A left hook left Prieto stumbling back toward a corner, before another right hand knocked him down again
A disoriented Prieto tried to get up, but couldn’t get his legs under him. The 30-year-old veteran fell back to the canvas and referee Michael Griffin stopped the fight with 16 seconds to go in the first round.
Prieto’s only professional loss before Friday night was a 12-round, unanimous-decision defeat to Colombian-born Quebec resident Eleider Alvarez (21-0, 10 KOs) 16 months ago at Bell Centre in Montreal.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.