NEW YORK – Artur Beterbiev is but to see his match, and Saturday on the Hulu Theater in Madison Sq. Backyard was no completely different.
Joe Smith Jr entered the ring with the benefit of measurement, energy, and a particularly robust proper arm, however that didn’t matter. Beterbiev is just too exact, his punches are too damaging.
His underrated ring IQ permits him to land a few of the sport’s most correct punches, leading to three kills and a TKO win within the second spherical for Beterbiev. He received his third light-weight title to cement himself as considered one of solely two 175-pound athletes on the planet.
The opposite, after all, is his Russian colleague Dmitry Bivol, who upset Canelo Alvarezformer boxing champion, in Could to retain his gentle heavyweight belt.
A summit between Beterbiev and Bivol wouldn’t solely declare the undisputed gentle heavyweight title but additionally signify the most effective fights boxing can carry.
In fact, that is boxing, that battle isn’t taking place proper in entrance of you. As a substitute, Beterbiev (18-0, 18 KOs) was lined as much as defend his three titles towards England’s Anthony Yarde, the WBO’s obligatory opponent. No deal has been struck, however the battle is being scheduled for October 29 in London, sources informed ESPN.
“I’ve two wars for unification,” says Beterbiev. “I desire the unification struggle. I don’t wish to be controversial.”
In fact, that match should wait. Yarde, the chief, appears to be subsequent. And like Beterbiev, Yarde is a harmful puncher who proved in his single title shot that he belongs on this stage.
Yarde got here in with a punch or two to eliminate Sergey Kovalev after they met for the sunshine heavyweight title in 2019. Kovalev as a substitute stopped Yarde within the latter spherical. Yarde needed to go to Russia for that bout, however this time, he’ll be preventing at house towards one other huge Russian boxer in Beterbiev.
“That [Kovalev fight] ready me lots, particularly going to Russia,” Yarde, the primary catch, informed ESPN on Saturday. You couldn’t have been higher ready than that. I used to be youthful then mentally and bodily. … I feel I’ve come a great distance with expertise and I’m lots higher ready mentally. “
Whereas the Betterbiev-Yarde is a gripping motion battle – and a significant UK occasion – it’s actually not the battle all of us wish to see at 175 kilos. That match continues to be Beterbiev-Bivol for all marbles at 175 kilos.
Bivol and Beterbiev have been in talks to unify the sunshine heavyweight title this spring in St.Petersburg earlier than the previous beat Alvarez. Now, the undisputed title match might have to attend till at the least the primary half of subsequent 12 months, and probably even longer.
Alvarez determined to goal for a 3rd matchup towards Gennadiy Golovkin on September 17 as a substitute of creating the rematch provision for a second match towards Bivol. Nevertheless, it stays attainable that Canelo will pursue an encounter with Cinco De Mayo over the weekend of 2023, which is able to spur an undisputed title struggle with Beterbiev till at the least the autumn of subsequent 12 months. after.
Beterbiev will flip 38 subsequent January and continues to be in search of an actual huge match to match his immense expertise. He tops the load steadiness checklist and is the one boxing champion with a 100% KO report.
He confirmed once more on Saturday that he is among the finest boxers on the planet. A battle with Yarde would supply one other likelihood for Beterbiev to ship a jaw-dropping efficiency in a slugfest, however it’s not the battle that Beterbiev – or boxing followers – need. And Betterbiev deserves it earlier than it’s too late.