By Luke Furman
Trainer Marc Ramsay tied a Canadian record on Saturday night in Fresno, when Artur Beterbiev (12-0, 12 KOs) stopped Enrico Koelling in the twelfth round to capture the vacant IBF light heavyweight world title at the Save Mart Center.
For Ramsay, Beterbiev became the coach's third boxer to win a world title after Jean Pascal (2009) and David Lemieux (2015). That's the same number as another top Canadian trainer, Stephan Larouche, when he was the head coach of Lucian Bute, Eric Lucas and Leonard Dorin on the night when they reached the highest level in boxing.
Next month, Ramsay may break the record if he leads Lemieux to a world title win over WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders. And he also trains undefeated light heavyweight Eleider Alvarez, who is the mandatory challenger to WBC champion Adonis Stevenson.
Not everyone was happy with the win. The packed arena of fans were showering the contest with plenty of boos, because they were not happy with slow pace of the fight.
Ramsay was pleased with his boxer's performance and said that he slowly broke Koelling down for the knockout win. It was the first time that Beterbiev had fought beyond the seventh round. Koelling had never been dropped as a pro or an amateur, but he went down twice in the final round before the contest was stopped.
"As a trainer, we do not get tired of having champions," said Ramsay to The Montreal Journal. "What I'm very proud of is that Artur became world champion in just 12 fights. Very few boxers in history have been able to achieve such a feat.
"We knew everyone was expecting Artur to win in three rounds, but we were facing an opponent with a great defense. We did not want him to lose all of his energy by tapping on the opponent's gloves. Sooner or later, we knew we would have the opportunity to stop him. My guy was patient.
"I told him [between the eleventh and twelfth rounds] to finish the fight as a champion and put the package on. I knew he had the energy to do it and he proves it to me regularly at the gym. [Koelling] said that he suffered a lot even when Artur hit him on the gloves. Whether it was in the amateurs or the professionals, he had never been to the floor. That shows just how tough he is. He offered to come to Montreal for training camp if we needed his services. Of course, his profile would have to meet our criteria."
Luke Furman covers boxing for bokser.org.