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Beterbiev Had Interest in Facing Usyk - When He Had All Belts at Cruiser

Artur Beterbiev, the light heavyweight world champion of the World Boxing Council (WBC) and the International Boxing Federation (IBF), reveals that he was interested in a showdown with Oleksandr Usyk, when the Olympic gold medal winner was the unified WBA, WBO, IBF, WBC cruiserweight king.

Usyk had his last bout at cruiserweight in the fall of 2018, when he knocked out Tony Bellew.

He moved up to heavyweight division last year, stopping Chazz Witherspoon in October. Usyk, now the WBO's mandatory challenger at his new weight, is set to face Derek Chisora on a date to be determined.

artur-beterbiev (4)_9

The jump in weight, from light heavyweight to cruiserweight, is the biggest in boxing. It's a 25-pound leap and very few boxers have made the transition in recent years.

Beterbiev repeatedly faced Usyk at major tournaments in amateur boxing.

In the quarter-finals of the London Olympics, Beterbiev lost to Usyk by points.

Beterbiev was very interested in making things right, and went as far as requesting a fight with Usyk as a contractual detail, when the Russian boxer was negotiating a deal with Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing. Beterbiev ultimately signed a promotional deal with Top Rank.

“I had a purely sporting interest in being able to box with Usyk when he became the absolute champion [at cruiserweight],” Beterbiev said to Tass.

“I was in the process of negotiating a contract with both Top Rank and Matchroom Boxing. The proposals from each were almost the same. I told my managers, that if Eddie Hearn (head of Matchroom Boxing) guarantees me a fight in the cruiserweight division with Usyk, then I will sign a contract with them.

"They took their time, but there were no answers from them. Maybe they were not interested, but I had a purely competitive interest [to fight Usyk]. We [me and Usyk] have history."

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by BoxingIsGreat on 08-23-2020

Now, that's a good fight. Usyk will box the Robotical Man's head off. Beterbiev is a heavyweight disguising himself as lightheavy for the advantage. Beterbiev's best chance is a shot Usyk doesn't see coming. He does punch hard and is…

Comment by SN!PER on 08-23-2020

If Usyk or Povetkin pull a miracle win and capture the title... Beterbiev is moving up to 205 for some heavyweight action.

Comment by CombatCan on 04-29-2020

Big fan of both fighters. I think Beterbiev's style would cause Usyk some problems.

Comment by Timur78 on 04-29-2020

[QUOTE=alexjust;20535546]You should have watched the video you posted before saying some ludicrous nonsense about a gift decision to Usyk. The part "many considered" is particularly amusing. Even if this is the first boxing match you ever watched (quite possibly), there…

Comment by Timur78 on 04-29-2020

[QUOTE=_Rexy_;20535053]One thing to keep in mind is each time that Beterbiev and Usyk fought, Beterbiev was at a size disadvantage. He was always a LHW, but he fought at HW for the Russians as they had another fighter (Kovalev I…

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