Artur Beterbiev-Isaac Chilemba on Sergey Kovalev-Jean Pascal card?
An offer has been made to the team of light heavyweight Artur Beterbiev for a March 14 bout against fellow contender Isaac Chilemba, said Kathy Duva of Main Events, Chilemba’s promoter.
Duva wants to match Beterbiev (7-0, 7 knockouts) and Chilemba (23-2-2, 10 KOs) on the undercard of a defense by RING No. 1-rated IBF/WBA/WBO titleholder Sergey Kovalev against former RING champion Jean Pascal on HBO from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.
Having obtained an agreement from Chilemba for the fight, Duva said she is awaiting word from Beterbiev, who is handled by Canadian promoters Jean Bedard of Interbox and Yvon Michel.
“HBO and the people from Montreal are all on vacation, so we haven’t made any significant progress on that. We’re going to be jumping on all of that this week. Chilemba has agreed to the fight,” said Duva.
“So it’s really up to Beterbiev’s people to decide whether or not they want it. Jean Bedard said that he was going to get to work on it this week and he hasn’t had a chance to speak with Yvon. I know that because I spoke to him on Friday. But he is planning on meeting with him this week. so we’ll see if this fight is going to get made or not.”
Although Michel could not be reached for an immediate comment, Bedard called Beterbiev-Chilemba “a good fight.”
“[Duva] made an offer for that fight…so we’ll check this week but I think that it would be a good fight. So probably this week, we’ll see where we are with it,” said Bedard.
“But Beterbiev would be coming to the big party, a little bit, because this is a card, with Kovalev and Pascal, that will have a lot of exposure. So this would be a great opportunity for him to be in the mix. That makes sense, because he could be the future of the division.”
Chilemba, 27, is 3-0 with one knockout since battling to a draw and a unanimous decision loss, both to title challenger Tony Bellew in March 2013 and May 2013, respectively. In his last fight in August, Chilemba scored a seventh round technical knockout over Cory Cummings to follow up a unanimous decision over Denis Grachev in March.
Beterbiev, 29, is coming off last month’s second round stoppage of previously undefeated Jeff Page Jr., rising from a first round knockdown to drop Page three times in the final round. Prior to facing Page, Beterbiev scored a second round stoppage of former IBF titleholder Tavoris Cloud in September.
Cloud represented the second fighter with a winning record to face Beterbiev, a resident of Montreal, Canada, who still has not gone beyond four rounds.
In his previous fight in September 2013, Cloud lost by seventh-round knockout to RING champion Adonis Stevenson, who, like Beterbiev, is promoted by Michel.
Michel said he has no plans for Stevenson and Beterbiev to fight in the near future.
“There are not a lot of good fighters in this category who would like to face Beterbiev,” said Bedard. “So to have another good opponent in front of him like Chilemba I think is the perfect fight to see how he compares to all of the other good guys in the division.”
Duva said she is also trying to land a heavyweight bout between former IBF cruiserweight titleholder Steve Cunningham and Vyacheslav Glazkov on the card.
“I have to get HBO to confirm the heavyweight fight,” said Duva of Glazkov-Cunningham, which has been “agreed” to by both boxers.
Duva said Glazkov-Cunningham had also been considered as a support bout for the April 25 defense by RING heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko against Bryant Jennings.