When looking back at the career of a fighter, there is always one specific moment that can be tracked down. This moment could be something that brought out the best in the athlete, or something that helped them leave their mark on the sport. With the current generation of young boxers dominating the scene, there are plenty of those early memories.
For Artur Beterbiev, his dominant knockout-win over Tavoris Cloud back in 2014 is something fans of his will be looking back on for the longest time. FIGHT SPORTS reviews Beterbiev’s dominant performance over Cloud in this Throwback Throwdown!
Beterbiev (15-0) made his pro debut in 2013, with a TKO-win over Christian Cruz. This was after a 295-5 amateur record. Heading into his sixth fight, he had five wins via knockout. It is strange for someone young (29 at the time), to receive a major step-up in competition, but his resume spoke for itself.
Although he was on a two-fight losing streak at the time, Tavoris Cloud (24-3) was still a dominant athlete. The former IBF Light-Heavyweight Champion, Cloud was on a 24-0 run before losing to Bernard Hopkins in 2013 via unanimous decision. He then faced Adonis Stevenson in the latter’s first defense of the WBC, The Ring, and lineal Light-Heavyweight Titles, losing that as well. A win against Beterbiev could have put him back on the right path.
The (Literal) Hook
The fight was a massacre from the opening bell, as Beterbiev hit a series of jabs that were abnormally powerful. Following that he hit a big body shot. While Cloud tried to attack back, Beterbiev used his great defensive style to steer clear of any major damage.
Beterbiev hit a counter right after a combination effort by Cloud. The Russian then hit hard head and body shots that knocked Cloud down with about 45 seconds left in the first. He then hit more left hands that put Cloud down twice, one right as the bell rang to end the round.
Round two was more of the same, as Beterbiev hit a vicious jab and started pounding away. The announcers called him a robot; methodically breaking down his opponent. Beterbiev then hit two huge left hooks and a right cross that put Cloud down for the count.
The announcers questioned whether Cloud gave up, and were mesmerized to see Beterbiev go from angry to happy in less than 20 minutes. As a result of the win, Beterbiev won the NABA Light-Heavyweight Title.
The Post-Match Breakdown
In only six professional fights, Artur Beterbiev was able to show how deadly of a fighter he is. The announcers called him a threat to the light-heavyweight division, and they didn’t end up being wrong.
Beterbiev won nine in a row after that, beating Enrico Kolling for the vacant IBF Light-Heavyweight Championship in 2017. He retained the title against Callum Johnson and Radivoje Kalajdzic before winning the WBC and lineal Light-Heavyweight Titles off of Oleksandr Gvozdyk back in October. He is now set to face 16-0 Meng Fanlong, and a win could propel him to a world title.
As for Cloud, he was never seen inside a ring again. There were reports he would be making his return soon, but nothing has been confirmed.
After the bout, here is what The Ring said about Beterbiev:
“Armed with the credibility of two amateur victories over current WBO titleholder Sergey Kovalev, Beterbiev appears ready to rocket toward stardom.”
Several years later and that statement could not that more valid. Beterbiev went from a supernatural amateur fighter to a polished rookie in the blink of an eye. He has taken down all of his competition, with only two fights hitting double-digit rounds. The light-heavyweight division has a true threat in Beterbiev, and it will be fascinating to see what happens when he rises the ranks in just a few more fights.
Until then, the attached video will be a reminder of what the gold medalist is capable of.