New Faces: Artur Beterbiev
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Hometown: Montreal, Canada
Weight class: Light Heavyweight
Height / reach: 6-0¾ (184 cm)/ 25 inches (Finger tip to shoulder) (63.5 cm)
Amateur record: 295-5 (estimated)
Turned pro: 2013
Pro record: 6-0, 6 knockouts
Trainer(s): Marc Ramsay, Russ Anber (cutman)
Manager: Anna Reva
Promoter: Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM)
Best night of pro career: Last time out Beterbiev (Pronounced Bitter-be-av ) destroyed former IBF light heavyweight titleholder Tavoris Cloud in just two rounds. The heavy handed Russian had Cloud on the canvas three times in the opening stanza before closing the show in emphatic fashion the in second round.
Unsurprisingly Beterbiev lists it as his best pro win: “I consider my best performance the fight with Tavoris Cloud, because he is a former world champion as well as an experienced, strong, serious opponent.”ÒÇÇ
Worst night of pro career: The Russian hasn’t has a bad round let alone a bad fight, blitzing all six opponents to date.
“I do not underestimate any opponent,” Beterbiev told RingTV.com through his manager Anna Riva. “I take every fight very seriously. I think my first fights were easy because I’m ready to face any opponent preferably from world top 10.”
Next fight: Faces unbeaten-but-untested Jeff Page Jr. (15-0, 10) on the undercard of Adonis Stevenson’s RING/WBC light heavyweight title defense against Dmitry Sukhotsky live on Showtime on Friday.
The most recognizable names on the record of Page, a 24-year-old boxer from Kansas, are journeymen Jose Spearman and Dominique Alexander.
Beterbiev is confident of showcasing his skills and maintaining his progression against Page.
“I’m training for my fight on Dec. 19 with Jeff Page. My expectations for this and any fight are to show good boxing skills, technique and, of course, victory.”ÒÇÇ
Why he’s a prospect: The big Russian entered the professional game after an extensive amateur background. He won silver at the 2007 World Championships before upgrading to gold at the 2009 Games. He also represented his country at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and is a two-time European champion in 2006 and 2010.
Beterbiev has impressive amateur wins over renowned boxers such as Ismayl Sillakh, Michael Hunter Jr., Abbos Atoev, as well as two victories over current WBA, IBF and WBO light heavyweight kingpin Sergey Kovalev.
“When I fought Sergey Kovalev in semi-finals (of the Russian National championship), my heart was already set on the fight with the captain of the Russian team, (Evgeny) Makarenko, in finals,” explained Beterbiev. “My goal was set at that time. I had to beat Makarenko and to do that had to defeat Kovalev, which I did (smiles).”
He had a fierce reputation as one of the biggest knockout artists in the amateur sport, best illustrated by stoppages of Sillakh and Siju Shabazz.
Beterbiev’s seek and destroy style, combined with his heavy hands and brute strength seem to be well suited to the pros.
He’s gained good pro experience sparring with former light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal and top-10 contender Eleider Alvarez.
His promoter Yvon Michel is very pleased with how Beterbiev has taken to the professional game in such a short space of time.
“Beterbiev has everything it takes to be a superstar,” Michel confidently predicted. “He has personality, determination, talent and power to be spectacular every time out. For him it’s just a matter of opportunity, he’s ready now to be world champion.”
Why he’s a suspect: So far Beterbiev’s physical gifts have helped bludgeon his six opponents, we’ve yet to see anyone fire back or take him rounds. The Russian’s amateur pedigree would suggest neither would be a problem.
As he moves into world class, it will be interesting to see how he deals with a slick boxer or even heavy handed banger.
Story lines: Beterbiev was born in the small city of Khasavyurt, in the republic of Dagestan in the south west of Russia. He is a Muslim of Chechen descent.
The youngest of four children, he remains close to his siblings.
“Even during the war in Chechnya, when times were tough, they were always there for me,” he said. “To keep me away from the streets, my brothers brought me to my first boxing gym. I will always remember that day, since then, me and boxing are inseparable.”
Beterbiev is married and has three children; he enjoys spending time with his family and relaxing watching movies.
In the midst of a successful amateur career Beterbiev decided to move to Canada and pursue his dreams in pro boxing.
“When I decided to turn professional, I received many offers from different promoters,” he said. “For me it wasn’t the matter of money, it was a matter of a good team. I’m very happy to deal with Yvon Michel, Marc Ramsey and my manager, Anna Reva.”
Since arriving, Beterbiev has worked with Ramsay,famed for his work with Pascal, Alvarez, and middleweight puncher David Lemieux. Ramsay also sees star potential.
“It the dream of every coach to train a boxer like Artur,” said Ramsay. “He is fully focused on his training, very intelligent and every decision he makes in his life are related to his career.
“Physically, he is an animal in the ring but, like I said, he is also a student of the game and very smart. The fact he had a lot of success as an amateur boxer proves his level of ability is superior. I really believe we are at the beginning of something very bigwith him.”
Sept. 27 – Tavoris Cloud – KO2
Aug. 22 – Alvaro Enriquez – TKO1
Jan. 18 – Gabriel Lecrosnier – TKO4
Nov. 30 – Billy Bailey – KO1
Sept. 28 – Rayco Saunders – RTD3
Jun. 8 – Christian Cruz – TKO2
Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him at www.twitter.com/AnsonWainwright