Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Artur Beterbiev: Restart the Engine

by Cliff Rold

Two year ago, Russian power puncher Artur Beterbiev appeared to be the most interesting rising, with a bullet, star in the light heavyweight division. Early knockout wins over former titlist Tavoris Cloud and Gabriel Campillo in less than ten fights was a hell of a start. Combine those names with a strong amateur pedigree that included two Olympic appearances and a World amateur championship; it was easy to see why hopes got high in a hurry.

Now 32 years old, Beterbiev (11-0, 11 KO) is fighting for only the fourth time since his April 2015 win over Campillo. A shoulder injury played a part along the way but absence is ultimately still absence. It’s not all bad. He still got to a title shot by his twelfth fight.

But while he may be the television main event, fighting for the IBF belt left vacant by the retirement of Andre Ward, Beterbiev is really borrowing a crowd.

beterbiev-koelling-weights (5)

The crowd enthusiasm folks will likely see on the live ESPN telecast (10:30 PM EST) will be for US Olympian Jose Ramirez (20-0, 15 KO). Ramirez is the draw in his hometown of Fresno, California where Top Rank has developed him into one of the most reliable ticket sellers in the United States.

That’s okay. Beterbiev wouldn’t be the first fighter to borrow a crowd and the upside comes if he can deliver the thunder that kept his name out there even when he wasn’t.

Beterbiev can borrow the crowd and make them his before he leaves town.

That assumes he can get by Germany’s Enrico Koelling (23-1, 6 KO). The assumption isn’t a reach. Koelling has never been stopped but he doesn’t appear to have the power to keep Beterbiev from coming at him. Nothing on his professional resume suggests a foe as talented as Beterbiev.

That doesn’t mean Koelling has no chances. He appears quicker than Beterbiev and puts punches together well. If one were gambling, an upset here just feels like a long shot.

If the assumption is correct, the best case scenario for Beterbiev is for Koelling to act as fuel to restart the engine of his career. After almost a year on the shelf (Beterbiev hasn’t fought since last December), Beterbiev has what could potentially be the biggest audience of his career.

The ads on ESPN this week alone might be the best dissemination of his name to date, though he did get time on some of the nationally televised PBC cards as well. Regardless, this is more than a chance to be seen. It’s a chance to garner momentum.

Momentum is important at light heavyweight right now.

The division is packed even without Ward. WBC titlist Adonis Stevenson still has a claim to history’s title and may be headed to a showdown with Badou Jack. Sergey Kovalev and Vyacheslav Shabranskyy will fight later in November for the vacant WBO belt. Oleksandr Gvozdyk, Dmitry Bivol, and Sullivan Barrera are all serious contenders. Mixed and matched, there is quality violence to go around. It’s a solid mix of technically sound talents and some killer punchers.

An impressive night for Beterbiev on Saturday could put his name on the tip of a lot of tongues. Who wouldn’t want to see him against a Stevenson, Kovalev, or Gvozdyk? The only folks who might are those who don’t know who he is.

He can make the population of the unknowing smaller this weekend. If he can get some activity going in 2018, Artur Beterbiev may finally arrive to the destinations he appeared to be headed, if only a little behind schedule.

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

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

[QUOTE=DramaShow;18202109]shame that ward decided to retire cause that would be the fight i would have wanted to see and in my opinion beterbiev would have done a number on him, hes that good.[/QUOTE] Beterbiev is beatable, there are a number…

Comment by The Madison on 11-11-2017

shame that ward decided to retire cause that would be the fight i would have wanted to see and in my opinion beterbiev would have done a number on him, hes that good.

Comment by Boxing lives on 11-11-2017

[QUOTE=Halama86;18201734]You don't have to like the man, but give him credit. He won Olympic gold, cleaned out 168, moved up and fought Kovalev twice. The Kovalev conversation went from "most feared" to "lazy, stubborn, and difficult to work with," because…

Comment by A.K on 11-11-2017

[QUOTE=Halama86;18201734]You don't have to like the man, but give him credit. He won Olympic gold, cleaned out 168, moved up and fought Kovalev twice. The Kovalev conversation went from "most feared" to "lazy, stubborn, and difficult to work with," because…

Comment by sterling on 11-11-2017

i completely agree

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (10)
Top Headlines Frampton: Warrington is Not an Easy Fight, Will Be Very Exciting Hidenori Otake Vows To KO Isaac Dogboe in Glendale Jay Harris: Me vs. Andrew Selby is a Good Fight For Welsh Fans! Wilder: Joshua Got His Name By Beating an Inactive, Beaten Guy! Wilder: Fury is Ready, He's in Perfect Shape, No Excuses Andrew Moloney Ready For Concepcion, Wants Kal Yafai Video: Lamon Brewster Talks Wilder-Fury, Wilder-Joshua Fights Video: Jose Benavidez Talks Crawford Title Shot, Porter-Garcia Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury: The Heist Wilder: Hearn, Joshua Are Envious - Said Fury Wouldn't Happen Boxing figures to band together to raise cash for Chris Edwards Jaime Munguia vs. Brandon Cook on Canelo-Golovkin Card Fury: If I Didn't Believe I Could Beat Wilder - I'd Pack Up & Retire Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury is a 50-50 Deal, Says Frank Warren Video: Brandon Rios Talks Ring Return, Garcia-Porter, More Video: Tom Loeffler Talks Golovkin-Canelo Rematch, More Video: Shane Mosley Talks Canelo vs. Golovkin, Porter-Garcia Saunders: I Shook Hands With Wilder; Squashed Chicken Beef Araneta Blasts Out Tomogdan Cold, Wins WBC Asia Belt in Cebu Wilder: When I Beat The Man Who Beat The Man - I'm The Man! Video: Caleb Plant Talks Hand Injury, Uzcategui Fight, Ramirez Video: Badou Jack Talks Kovalev-Alvarez, Stevenson-Gvozdyk Video: Terence Crawford Talks Garcia-Porter, Benavidez Fight Video: Bob Arum Talks Wilder-Fury, Manny Pacquiao, More Carlos Cuadras Gets Technical Decision Over Ricardo Nunez Khan: Fight With Pacquiao Could Sell Out Stadium in the UK Shavkat Rakhimov Destroys Robinson Castellanos in Two Evgeny Tishchenko Makes Pro Debut With TKO Win in Five Photos: Jesse Hart, Shakur Stevenson, Jason Sosa, Cornflake Win Fury: Wilder Called, I Answered - Not Like Sh*thouse Joshua! Photos: Jennings Dropped, Comes Back To Stop Dimitrenko Deontay Wilder: I Promise - Fury Will Be a Knockout Victim! Photos: Tyson Fury Boxes Past Pianeta, Secures Deontay Wilder Photos: Carl Frampton Stops Jackson, Looks To Warrington Shot Photos: Cristofer Rosales Takes Out Paddy Barnes With KO Frampton: Warrington Fight is Easiest To Make - Let's Do It Atchariya Claims Decision, Chanoi Scores KO in Bangkok Fury: Wilder Congratulated Me, Said it Was Great Performance Subriel Matias Crushes Breidis Prescott, Jantony Ortiz is KO'd Tyson Fury vs. Francesco Pianeta - CompuBox Punch Stats
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement