Top light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera is still very upset that an IBF final eliminator bout against Artur Beterbiev has been derailed by his visa issues. Barrera, who is ranked #8 by the IBF (and also rated in the WBO and WBA’s top 10,) said that he didn’t hesitate when the fight was offered to him.
“I accepted the fight less than 5 minutes after my team offered it to me. This is what I have worked my entire life for. I want to be world champion and Beterbiev was my opportunity to get to Kovalev,” Barrera explained.
The former Cuban amateur standout believes that there is more to Beterbiev’s promoter Yvon Michel’s insistence on staging the fight in Canada than meets the eye. Earlier this year Barrera called out former light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal who is also trained by Beterbiev’s trainer Marc Ramsay and that fight was immediately rejected.
“It’s kind of funny that Beterbiev’s last fight was in the United States yet he won’t fight me here in the U.S. He is an undercard fighter and isn’t a big draw in Canada. Everyone knows that Bute is selling the tickets on November 28th,” Barrera said in reference to the fight card that proposed for his clash against Beterbiev in Quebec.
“Pascal turned me down numerous times. Beterbiev has the same trainer as Pascal. He’s not stupid. He knows what I would do to his fighters. He should just admit he doesn’t like the matchup instead of putting up obstacles to prevent the fight.”
Barrera has been training in Big Bear with his trainer Abel Sanchez and is willing and able to face any top 10 rated contender in the light heavyweight division.
All photos by Marilyn Paulino/RBRBoxing