IBF Prez: I Would Love To See Kovalev vs. Beterbiev Happen

By Luke Furman

International Boxing Federation President Daryl Peoples believes his light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev (12-0, 12 KOs), is the top dog of the division.

Beterbiev captured the vacant IBF world title in November with a TKO victory over Enrico Koelling.

No date has been set for his next return fight as the Russian boxer is involved in a contractual dispute with Canadian promoter Yvon Michel of GYM.


Most experts view WBO world champion Sergey "Krusher" Kovalev (31-2-1, 27 KOs) as the current king at the weight class.

Peoples feels that Beterbiev is being overlooked by the media, with most of the 175 coverage going to Kovalev.

"Beterbiev is a real beast. The fact is, Sergei has owned the belts for a much longer period of time, so he is more famous. I do not understand why so little is being said about Arthur, because he can fight. We expect great achievements from him. When he comes out on the big stage, I'm sure he will show what he can do and collect a large army of fans," Peoples said to Nikolai Ryazantsev.

Kovalev is back in action in an HBO televised fight on March 3 at The Theater at Madison Square Garden.

He will make a voluntary defense against Igor Mikhalkin (21-1, 9 KOs).

The next fight, could be a unification with WBA light heavyweight world champion Dmitry Bivol (12-0, 10 KOs), who appears in the co-feature against mandatory challenger Sullivan Barrera (21-1, 14 KOs).

Peoples is hoping to see Beterbiev fight Kovalev. The two Russian boxers have a longtime rivalry since the amateurs.  

"Oh, I'd love to see that fight. It would be a great fight, and I think that Beterbiev would have a chance to beat him. Of course, we all know what the 'Krusher' is capable of, but Arthur is also a very relentless boxer," Peoples said.

Luke Furman covers boxing for

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Marvlus Marv on 02-08-2018

[QUOTE=daggum;18470603]the less ward fights the better. you really want to see more clinch/cheat fests? whats the point? we know if hes challenged hes just gonna do that and they are gonna gift him the fight. there is no point. hes…

Comment by daggum on 02-07-2018

[QUOTE=Marvlus Marv;18469675]So many beasts in a division - and let's include Ward for the sake of fantasy - yet so few massive fights have taken place. Such a fkn disappointment. Heck,[B] in a better world,[/B] Stevenson and Kovalev would've had…

Comment by Johnny Utah on 02-07-2018

I’ve said it again & again Beterbiev is the Real Boogyman in this division !! If & when The stupid Frenchman let’s him go & fight watch out LHD the boogyman will clear everyone out!! 🏃🏾*♂️🥊

Comment by Marvlus Marv on 02-07-2018

So many beasts in a division - and let's include Ward for the sake of fantasy - yet so few massive fights have taken place. Such a fkn disappointment. Heck, in a better world, Stevenson and Kovalev would've had a…

Comment by Boxing Logic on 02-07-2018

Hope we see this in June, Stevenson-Gvozdyk in August or September, then the winners fight in December. Winner of that vs Bivol spring 2019.

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