Beterbiev Ready For Spotlight In Top Rank Debut
While he’s knocked out everyone in his path, Artur Beterbiev has not fought more than once in the past two years, last seen in November of 2018 knocking out Callum Johnson to retain his WBA light heavyweight title..
Speaking to Boxing Scene, Beterbiev admitted the lack of activity was hard on him.
“It’s been difficult for me, because I just want to concentrate on fighting (in the ring), not in (court),” the champion said of his legal wranglings with former promoter Yvon Michel. “That’s all behind me now, it’s a big relief to be with Top Rank and to finally just move on with my career.”
After his issues with Michel’s GYM Promotions were settled earlier this year, Beterbiev, now based in Canada, signed with Top Rank and ESPN. Now, the light heavyweight champion heads to Stockton, California to headline an ESPN card against Radivoje “Hot Rod” Kalajdzic.
Beterbiev set a high bar for boxing on the World Wide Leader, as his knockout of Enrio Kölling in November 2017, averaged 1.9 million viewers, one of the highest in the history of the Top Rank Boxing on ESPN series.
“I like that Top Rank is able to put me on these shows in front of big crowds, but it’s the same whether there’s 1,000, 10,000 or 50,000 in attendance,” Beterbiev said of a potential sell out to see local featherweight Gabriel Flores Jr on the undercard. “All I think about is fighting. That’s what people are coming to see, fights. The size of the crowd doesn’t change my (mindset). All I’m thinking about is the fight.”
“Look, I know he has good power, he is a good boxer and can use his size,” Beterbiev said of Kaladzic. “He believes he’s going to win and that he will force a war. That’s very good, I hope he does.
“But I pay less attention to what he says and whatever other fights (take place on Saturday) and just about what I need to do and the instructions my team gives me during the fight. Whatever he says, he needs to think about that. I’ve thought enough about boxing (since last October). Now, I just want to fight and to keep fighting.”
Report: Boxing Scene