By Edward Chaykovsky
Hot light heavyweight contender Artur Beterbiev (10-0, 10 KOs) is hungry world a title - and he doesn't care if he lands WBC champion Adonis Stevenson or IBF/WBA/WBO champion Sergey Kovalev (29-0-1, 26 KOs).
Beterbiev returned earlier this month and crushed Ezequiel Maderna (23-3, 15 KOs) by way of a fourth round TKO in Montreal. He dropped Maderna four times in the contest.
It was Beterbiev's first bout since having shoulder surgery and his first fight in almost a year after knocking out Alexander Johnson last June in his American debut at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago.
Last year Beterbiev was in line for a final IBF eliminator to get a crack at Kovalev, but suffered the injury to his shoulder and withdrew. Beterbiev holds two amateur wins over Kovalev.
A fight with Stevenson might be easier to make. They are both promoted by Yvon Michel of GYM and managed by boxing power broker Al Haymon.
“My career goal is to be the champion of the world,” Beterbiev said to PBC. “Whether it’s Sergey Kovalev or Adonis Stevenson, I don’t care who I have to fight to win it."
Both Kovalev and Stevenson are pretty much booked up for the year, so Beterbiev may have to wait and stay busy until 2017.
Kovalev defends his titles next month against Isaac Chilemba in Russia, and if he comes out on top he will face Andre Ward in an HBO Pay-Per-View headliner in November. Stevenson is also set to defend next month, facing dangerous puncher Thomas Williams. If he overcomes Williams in the contest, he will then go up against mandatory challenger Eleider Alvarez in the fall.