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Photos: Artur Beterbiev Stops Koelling, Captures IBF World Title

Russian boxer Artur Beterbiev claimed his first world title belt on Saturday with a 12th round knockout of Enrico Koelling in a battle for the vacant IBF light heavyweight crown. Photos by Mikey Williams/Top Rank.

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The undefeated Beterbiev recorded his 12th straight knockout but he had to go past seven rounds for the first time in his career to get the 175-pound belt.

The 32-year-old Beterbiev systematically dismantled underdog Koelling over 12 rounds, finishing him off with a right hook to the head with 27 seconds left in front of a crowd of 18,800 at the Fresno State University arena.

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He knocked Koelling down for the first time in the fight earlier in the round but the 27-year-old German was able to continue after an eight count from the referee.

Beterbiev improved to a career record of 12-0 with 12 knockouts after just his second pro fight outside of Canada, where he trains.

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Beterbiev had over 300 fights in an impressive amateur career that included two victories over former light heavyweight champ Sergey "Krusher" Kovalev.

As a pro, Beterbiev had only been past four rounds once when he was pushed to the seventh round by Alexander Johnson in 2015.

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Koelling landed very few good punches in the one-sided fight but he can find solace in becoming the first fighter to survive into the 12th round with Beterbiev who some call the best pure puncher in boxing today.

With his first world title in hand there are some who now feel the two-time Russian Olympian is on the verge of finally fulfilling the lofty expectations he had coming out of the amateur ranks.

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Beterbiev moved to Montreal when he turned pro and signed a contract with promoter Yvon Michel. Beterbiev and Michel are now embroiled contract dispute which is in the Canadian courts.

This was just the second career loss for Koelling who had won seven in a row since a 2015 defeat on points to Italian Mirco Ricci.

Koelling (23-2) was hoping to become the first German to win a world title in the US since Max Schmeling won the NBA -- now the World Boxing Association -- world heavyweight title at Yankee Stadium, New York, in June 1930.

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User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by kennethjohn on 11-12-2017

[QUOTE=MDPopescu;18204081]I don't see these "ex-Soviet school" guys wishing to fight each other... i.e. Kovalev(WBO champ -- very likely), Beterbiev (IBF champ) , Gvozdyk, Bivol (regular WBA champ)... They would rather look to chase Stevenson, Barrera, Badou Jack... ... he didn't...…

Comment by iNixus on 11-12-2017

Koelling called Beterbiev a monster after the fight

Comment by My Low Place on 11-12-2017

[QUOTE=daggum;18204299]make more reasonable offers? pretty dubious when everyone turns you down. dont think stevenson wanted to share in the pot so he took those easy fights over and over to get most of it. his title run started out solid…

Comment by AdonisCreed on 11-12-2017

[QUOTE=My Low Place;18204332]THE WBC IS ON THEIR KNEES? lol last i checked they put pascal and kov as the mando to stevenson...how the hell is that proof of the wbc being on their knees for adonis?btw both guys got offers…

Comment by AdonisCreed on 11-12-2017

Artur vs Stevenson make it happen!! I really wanted to see Ward vs Stevenson but Andre retired smh Which sucks!! I still wouldn't mind seeing Kovalev vs Stevenson even though that may never happen either!! :(

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