By Vadim Pushkin
Light heavyweight contender Artur Beterbiev (11-0, 11 KOs) is pleased with the latest developments for his next fight.
Beterbiev was ordered to take part in a final IBF world title eliminator. His promoter Yvon Michel was having a lot of trouble securing an opponent for that fight. Several of the highly ranked contenders rejected the possibility of facing Beterbiev in the fight.
Beterbiev was in action last month and made things very brief when he demolished Isidro Ranoni Prieto in a single round. Prieto had never been stopped in his career and went the full distance with current WBC mandatory challenger Eleider Alvarez.
BoxingScene.com first reported on Friday that once-beaten contender Sullivan Barrera had accepted the IBF's invitation to fight Beterbiev in a final eliminator.
Barrera (18-1, 13 KOs) rebounded well in 2016. He started off the year with a twelve round decision loss to current WBA, IBF, WBO world champion Andre Ward. He was then matched up against undefeated puncher Vyacheslav Shabranskyy.
While the contest appeared to be an even match on paper, Barrera dominated most of the fight and dropped Shabranskyy three times before stopping him in the seventh.
There is still no finalized agreement between Beterbiev and Barrera. It's hard to imagine this contest heading to a purse bid when there is a 75-25 split in favor of Beterbiev. If both sides are unable to reach an agreement, the IBF will set down a purse bid date.
"The events are changing very fast. We just got the confirmation that Sullivan Barrera insisted on the fight and it will take place. I would like to thank Sullivan, that he had his final say in the negotiations. He proved to be a real fighter. I hope the [fans] of boxing will enjoy the fight! As the Russian proverb goes: “Let the strongest one win." Last but not least, I wish to thank the promoters for their agreement to organize the eliminator," Beterbiev said.