Friday, March 24, 2023  |



Artur Beterbiev-Sullivan Barrera title eliminator could go to purse bid


More than a few light heavyweight contenders passed on an opportunity to step inside the ring with hard-hitting Artur Beterbiev for an IBF title-elimination bout, but Sullivan Barrera is not passing up a lucrative opportunity.

A compelling clash between Beterbiev and Barrera, THE RING’s Nos. 5- and 9-rated light heavyweights, could be shaping up, Main Events CEO and promoter Kathy Duva confirmed to

Main Events informed the IBF on Friday that Barrera would participate in the sanctioning organization’s title belt eliminator against Beterbiev.

Barrera (18-1, with 13 knockouts), who is coming off a seventh round knockout victory over Vyacheslav Shabranskyy on Dec. 16, is ranked No. 7 by the IBF. Beterbiev (11-0, 11 KOs) is ranked No. 2.

“We’re anxious to make the fight,” Duva said. “We asked Sullivan and he agreed to fight Beterbiev.

“We’re negotiating with Yvon Michel (Beterbiev’s promoter). We were supposed to receive a date (Tuesday) by the IBF for a purse bid, but we’re still open to negotiate if a fight can be made.” was advised that the IBF will hold a purse bid for the Beterbiev-Barrera on Feb. 2 at their offices in Springfield, New Jersey.

This is not the first time Yvon Michel and Main Events have been involved in a purse bid for Beterbiev and Barrera.

A purse bid was scheduled in September of 2015 for the IBF No. 2 ranking, but a dispute occurred between the two promoters. Barrera, who defected from Cuba and resides in Miami, Florida, did not have a passport then and was unable to travel to Quebec, Canada for a proposed fight with Beterbiev.

Michel wanted Beterbiev to fight two months later in November, but a fight never materialized and Beterbiev did not fight until June 4.

Barrera ended up fighting in December 2015, knocking out Karo Murat in five rounds before losing a 12-round unanimous decision to Andre Ward over three months later.

Sixteen months after the original purse bid, Main Events and Yvon Michel are back to square one. The fight is a compelling clash between two of the top light heavyweights and one that could bring a lot of interest from the premium networks (HBO and Showtime).

Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper,, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing