Tuesday, March 20, 2018  |


Artur Beterbiev stops Enrico Koelling in 12, wins vacant IBF light heavyweight title

Photo / @TRboxing

Light heavyweight contender Artur Beterbiev dominated Enrico Koelling for 11-plus rounds, eventually dropping the German boxer twice and stopping him in Round 12 at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California, on Saturday.

With the win, Beterbiev wins the IBF light heavyweight title, which was vacated by Andre Ward earlier this year.

Beterbiev (12-0, 12 knockouts) had not fought since Dec. 23 and the ring-rust was evident early on. Beterbiev walked Koelling down against the ropes, but not all his punches landed cleanly. Even though he was working behind a jab, Beterbiev rarely threw combinations, something he has done in previous fights.

Koelling (23-2, 6 KOs), who had won his previous seven bouts, would land an occasional punch, but did little to engage with Beterbiev.

The lack of action and the receptiveness of each round brought down a cascade of boos from the crowd, who were awaiting the main event bout between Jose Ramirez, who hails from nearby Avenal, and Mike Reed.

Beterbiev pressed the action during the final round, aggressively walking Koelling down throughout the round. Beterbiev hurt Koelling midway through the round, dropping him moments later.

Koelling would beat the count and fought back, but was dropped again by a Beterbiev right hand. Referee Dr. Lou Moret stepped in and stopped the bout at 2:33.

  • Harry

    Koelling was an ideal foe for Beterbiev to shake off his rust and go the distance for the first time in his professional career. At least he proved to everybody and himself that he is still formidable in later rounds and that his power is enough to stop any opponent even in 12th. He himself said he wanted to go most of the distance because he realized he had enough rust to scrap. I hope he fights three times in 2018 against Gvozdyk, Kovalev and maybe Joe Smith. If he starts his next fight in the same style he showed in round 12 he will beat all those guys.

  • Cashtime

    The welterweight divsion isnt the only hot spot in boxing. The Light Heavys has been scorching with talent knockout artist. Dream matches everywhere with all the top ten averaging 90% knockout ratios. Bivol, Olesk, Beterbiev, Superman D, Kovalev, Alverez and Berrera, B Jack, Brown, and Joe S; this division is stacked!! Kovalev no longer the lone boogieman.

    • Fist_ti_cuffs

      You are right. This is a great division, but it means nothing if these guys refuse to step up and fight each other. SOG is the only person with wins over at least two people on your list. These guys and their promoters need to step it up.

  • Charlie U.

    Will Adonis Stevenson ever face someone of note in this division??

    • Stephen M

      I was going to say no but he will either be facing Badou Jack or Eleider Alvarez after Christmas. I think that there will be a press conference about it this week. Hopefully.

      • Charlie U.

        God, I hope so. Either one is good with me, although the guy hasn’t faced a mandatory in about 4 years so he should probably start there.

        • Stephen M

          So Yvon Michel announced today that he is poisoning his planned January 27 fight card. So we still don’t know who is fighting who.

          • Charlie U.

            Damn, really? I haven’t heard that. Maybe that means he’s trying last minute to pull together Stevenson-Fonfara 3. Lol. Smh @ Adonis.

    • Wade Wilson

      Who? Oh.. yeah. That guy.

      • Charlie U.

        Right. The sooner he faces someone good, the sooner we can get rid of him.

        • Wade Wilson

          I always forget that he’s even around! I’m not joking, he so insignificant that I don’t care what he does.

  • Alligator

    andre ward and tony weeks,look what you’ve done! Instead of one Russian world champion in light heavy you made three-Bivol,Beterbiev and Kovalev in a couple weeks.Poor bastards…