The unified light heavyweight champion now is ready to defend his titles. After two delays, Artur Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs) will defend the WBC and IBF titles against Adam Deines in Moscow. This will be the first time that Betebiev will fight as a professional in his native country of Russia.
The two time Olympian made his way over to Canada when turning pro and he has been impressive ever since his debut. Betebiev has knocked out or stopped every opponent that he has faced so far, and has been through ten full rounds only once in his career. His resume includes victories over Tavoris Cloud, Gabriel Campillo, Enrico Koelling, and the stoppage of Oleksandr Gvozdyk to become unified champion. He was slated to have this bout last October, but he suffered a rib injury in training camp. As a result the bout was rescheduled for January 30th but was postponed again due to Beterbiev testing positive for COVID-19. Now the Russian is amped to get back in the ring after 15 months.
“I am excited to finally have a date for the fight,” Beterbiev said. “Now that COVID-19 and the injury are behind me, I am able to prepare well and put on a great show for boxing fans.”
Deines is also from Russia and is ranked 6th in the IBF rankings. He enters this bout with a record of 19-1-1 with 10 of those wins by way of knockout. His lone loss came to Meng Fanlong in an eliminator, but is now in a position to fight for a world title against a fighter that some claim may be the best in the light heavyweight division. Back when this bout was slated for January 30th, Deines expressed his anticipation for fighting Beterbiev in Russia.
“I’ve been waiting to fight Beterbiev for a long time,” he said. “I can’t wait to put forth the fight of my life to become unified world champion.”
It may be a tough task for Deines as the champion may have the best win in the division over the past few years taking out Gvozdyk in ten rounds. Beterbiev may have his sights set on becoming the undisputed champion in the division but knows that he has to beat Deines to get one step closer to that goal. His promoter – Top Rank chairman Bob Arum – is also looked forward to the bout in March. He is aware of what’s at stake in the near future as well.
“At long last, Artur Beterbiev will defend his world titles as he looks to kick off his 2021 campaign in devastating fashion,” said Arum. “We have big plans for Artur, but he must first take care of business in Moscow.”
More information about this event will be known in the coming weeks.