Artur Beterbiev for sure. Sorting.

The Russian-born, Canadian-based light heavyweight took down Anthony Yard in eight rounds in London last weekend, recording both his 19th win and KO, but soon everyone was out on Archie Moore. It was not a forgettable performance. .

He was rickety at times and looked a step slower than his more athletic opponents, but wasn’t as durable. Given that, it’s on the recognized pound-for-pound list.

Assistant trainer John Sculley said, “I think Arthur is one of the most underrated fighters in the game in terms of his skill.” .”

Scully returned home from London on Tuesday morning (US time) and seemed confident he was determined to unify the light heavyweight ranks. /streaming conflicts, etc.), it wouldn’t hurt his team to have a few other options on hand for next time.

Here is one man’s view, presented in order of arrival.

First, Callum Smith: Given our sport’s mandatory defense and the endless string of sanctioning body nonsense, it’s a real and not a terrible fight.

Lest anyone forget, “Mundo” was a worthy champion at 168, winning three title fights before running into a cinnamon-haired body-punching nightmare.

He lost every key moment of his 12-rounder in 2020, but has since scored two KOs in six total rounds at 175 and, more importantly, has become a mandatory WBC challenger. .

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman says “Callum Smith is a must” for the boxing scene in the second half of 2022.

“[Smith]is allowed to have a provisional fight because Beterbiev has a WBO mandatory bout (against Yards). The winner has to fight Callum Smith.”

At 6-foot-3 tall and with a wingspan of 78 inches, Smith is taller and longer than Beterbiev and has the technical acumen to win tactical battles. He also seems pretty strong at 175.

Second, Dmitry Bivol: Playword associations with fighting fans and Beterbiev’s next name will probably be Bivol’s. He has held the “super” world title belt for nearly two years.

And he’s pretty good too.

He wasn’t a household name before his shock wave over Canelo Alvarez last May, but Bivol has shown his genius-level ring IQ, sublime footwork and use of angles that give him a noticeable advantage. was able to achieve a comprehensive 12-round figure against size and hand speed.

Both he and Beterbiev are champions, undefeated, Russian, and both high-end.

“Bibor vs. Beterbiev is one of the most anticipated matches in the entire world,” former champion Evander Holyfield told the boxing scene. “I think this fight is going to be exciting. It’s important to get everything worked out in order to organize this fight.”

Whether that happens is anyone’s guess.

Bivol’s loyalty to Eddie Hahn’s matchroom boxing promotion means he’s an exclusive streaming property on DAZN. As for Beterbiev, he has been promoted by Top Rank and will appear exclusively on ESPN.

Top Rank’s Czar Bob Arum said a fight between the two should be aired on ESPN.

“Beterbiev looks impregnable,” Aram told Boxing Scene. seems to be

Third, Canelo Alvarez: Like it or not, he is the most recognizable commodity in the sport thanks to his title-winning career at 154, 160, 168 and 175 pounds.

A loss to Bivol sent him rushing back to 168 to finish his deal with Gennady Golovkin, but a Bivol rematch has been widely discussed as a priority for the now 32-year-old, who has been a professional since 2005.

Beterbiev will jump on the radar if Biborg II comes before Beterbiev and Canelo win. And if Beterbiev beats Biborg first and is looking for a high-profile opponent after that, nobody does it better.

And when it comes to promotion, the groundwork is laid.

“Canelo is definitely a good fighter, he has technique, he works well in the ring and he has good punches,” Beterbiev told SunSport. “I’m sure it’s going to be a megafight. He’s going to be one of the biggest events in the last few years.”

Aram agrees.

“It’s going to be a big fight because the betting action will be two-way,” he told SkySports. Some would say yes.”

Fourth, Oleksandr Usyk: It may sound silly, but Beterbiev and Oleksandr Usyk are not as far apart as you think.

Usyk is an undefeated heavyweight champion, but until recently he was at cruiserweight. Also, at 6 feet 3 inches and weighing 220 pounds, he is far from being a physical giant in the ring.

Beterbiev is certainly shorter and has less reach, but the gap isn’t nearly as big as Usyk overcame twice against 6-foot-6-inch, 240-pound Anthony Joshua.

And they have already met three times.

After winning the opening round in 2007, Beterbiev lost on the scorecards at both the 2011 AIBA World Championships and the 2012 London Summer Olympics. You can perform in the middle.

And confidently there seems to be no problem.

“I believe I can give him something professionally,” Beterbiev told iD Boxing. “I can give him a very good fight. I don’t want to say beat him, even if I beat him, I don’t want to say.”

* * * * * * * * * *

This week’s title fight schedule:


Vacant WBO Junior Lightweight Championship – Glendale, Arizona

Emmanuel Navarrete (WBO Unranked/IWBR Unranked) vs. Liam Wilson (WBO No. 3/IWBR No. 43)

Navarrete (36-1, 30 KOs): 11th title fight (10-0); WBO titles at 122 and 126 lbs

Wilson (11-1, 7 KOs): First title fight.First match outside Australia

Fitzbitz said: It’s great to see a guy like Wilson break through a title attempt, but he’s tough on seasoned champions, and unless weight is an issue, Navarrete will crush it.10’s He Navarrete (90/10)

Last week’s pick: 2-0 (winners: Beterbiev, Dalakian)

2023 draft record: 2-1 (66.7%)

2022 draft record: 41-16 (71.9%)

Overall pick record: 1,252-409 (75.4%)

Note: The only matches previewed are those involving full-fledged title holders from sanctioned bodies. No interim, diamond, silver, etc. WBA ‘World Championship’ matches are included only if there is no ‘Super Champion’ in that division.

Lyle Fitzsimmons has covered professional boxing since 1995 and has written a weekly column on the boxing scene since 2008. He is a full voting member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Contact him at fitzbitz@msn.com or follow him on Twitter (@fitzbitz).


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