Beterbiev Wins IBF Light Heavyweight Title
Artur Beterbiev (12-0, 12 KOs) has now claimed ownership of the IBF Light Heavyweight Championship, managing to defeat Enrico Koelling (23-2, 6 KOs) at the Save Mart Arena in Fresno, California, on Saturday night.
Originally booked as a title eliminator, the bout became for the IBF title after Andre Ward announced his retirement.
Beterbiev started as the aggressor, as Koelling played more of a defensive role and felt his opponent out in round one. In round two, Koelling started to fire away, but Beterbiev was handling his power well.
Beterbiev started off the fight by using his power to push Koelling back. Koelling was being defensive for the most part and not taking many chances against the dangerous puncher. The third round proved to be an even more competitive round, though Beterbiev still seemed to be in control.
This continued in the fourth, where Beterbiev landed bigger and more powerful shots, in addition to being in control of the fight’s pace.
Koelling’s output seemed to decrease by the time the eighth round rolled around. Koelling continued to play more defense, however, as Beterbiev tried to find away around the gloves.
Beterbiev finally fully connected in the championship rounds, landing the most powerful of shots on Koelling. In the final minute of the fight, Koelling took a knee. He got up, but after he was knocked down a second time, the referee stopped the fight, giving Beterbiev the win and title.