Editorials

Who’s Next in Line for Artur Beterbiev?

Photo By: Minas Panagiotakis

Photo By: Minas Panagiotakis

Artur Beterbiev showcased his tremendous potential this past Saturday, April 4, with a devastating fourth-round knockout win over top-10 contender, Gabriel Campillo.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFntDPD9sJQ

After just eight professional fights, Beterbiev is now ranked as the No. 1 contender to Sergey Kovalev’s IBF title, as well as also being ranked by the WBC, WBA and WBO.

Leading into Saturday’s card, Beterbiev was very open to the media about wanting a fight with Kovalev, but unfortunately did not take advantage of a great opportunity to call out the champion in his post-fight interview.

Leaving us all with hopes that a huge fight between Adonis Stevenson and Sergey Kovalev might actually be on the horizon.

According to ESPN.com, Promoter Yvon Michel said the following of Beterbiev:

[otw_shortcode_quote border=”bordered” border_style=”bordered”]“The plan is to have him fight next in May or early June and have him ready to potentially face the winner of the anticipated unification fight between Stevenson and Sergey Kovalev, who should meet later this year for 175-pound supremacy.”[/otw_shortcode_quote]

This would mean Beterbiev would have to take a step back as far as level of competition, something he’s not familiar with lately, but you get the impression that his next fight could be more of a “set up” fight to a much bigger matchup.

So the question is who could he fight? Who would properly fit the role of a “fall guy” for Beterbiev? It would have to be a fighter that has been seen on TV lately, but doesn’t cause a threat to mess up the order of things.

Dmitry Sukhotsky is a name that comes to mind. Not only is he ranked No. 12 by the WBC, but he fought Stevenson on Showtime back in December 2014.

He’s a tough fighter, who is also Russian, and who has a solid victory on his resume, a second-round knockout win over Nadjib Mohammedi back in 2011. Mohammedi is likely to fight Kovalev this summer.

It’s also a fight that would draw great interest in Canada, where Sukhotsky has fought before, and where Beterbiev is becoming a household name among boxing fans.

Tommy Karpency also comes to mind. He shocked everyone with a win over Chad Dawson on Showtime last October 2014.

He’s also been in the ring with some other tough contenders, going the distance and losing to Karo Murat in 2010 and Nathan Cleverly in 2012, as well as a seventh-round knockout loss to Andrzej Fonfara, also in 2012.

It’s arguable that Karpency was matched up with Dawson to lose, and help Dawson get back on the right track, but instead he won, and possibly earned himself a date with another big name.

Another fighter that comes to mind is Maxim Vlasov, and who is coming off a tough-fought loss to Gilberto Ramirez on HBO back in January, a fight in which Vlasov received good exposure.

Vlasov moved down in weight to fight Ramirez, but usually campaigns at Light Heavyweight, and has already shared the ring with another top-rated contender in Isaac Chilemba.

In both his fights with Ramirez and Chilemba, Vlasov showed a good heart and a solid chin, making him a fighter that could provide much needed competitive rounds for Beterbiev.

Photo By: Ramiro ESPN

Photo By: Ramiro Cairo/ESPN

Now that Beterbiev is signed with Al Haymon, it’s tough to determine the path they’ll take with his career, which is scary because he’s so high on the list of “Guys who could be your next favorite fighter.”

As long as PBC’s relationship with the four major sanctioning bodies remains a mystery, talks of Stevenson vs. Kovalev, and Beterbiev fighting the winner, is just that, all talk.

 

Who would you like to see Artur Beterbiev fight next? Please feel free to discuss in our comment section provided below.

Header Photo by Amanda Kwok

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