Beterbiev-Chilemba fight in the works for 3/14
By Jim Dower: The much talked about fight between light heavyweight contenders Artur Beterbiev (7-0, 7 KOs) and Isaac Chilemba (23-2-2, 10 KOs) is still in a holding pattern for March 14th on the Jean Pascal vs. Sergey Kovalev fight card at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.
Chilemba’s promoter Kathy Duva of Main Events is very interested in putting the fight together, and she’s just waiting on Beterbiev’s promoters Yvon Michel and Jean Bedard to sit down with her to start ironing out the negotiations.
This is a fight that you can consider a 50-50 affair where it’s impossible to tell which of the two will emerge as the victor. It’s a fight that will help both of their careers in a huge way if they come out on top. Before Beterbiev’s last fight against Jeff Page Jr, many boxing fans would have picked him to beat Chilemba without any problems. However, Beterbiev was knocked down by Page in the 1st round of that fight, and hit with some really clean shots.
Beterbiev showed some major lapses in his defensive skills, and he didn’t use his jab or head movement. Beterbiev’s excellent power bailed him out in the 2nd round with him knocking Page down three times in getting a stoppage.
“It’s really up to Beterbiev’s people to decide whether or not they want it,” Duva said via RingTV.com. “Jean Bedard said that he was going to get to work on it this week and he hasn’t had a chance to speak with Yvon. I know that because I spoke on Friday. But he is planning on meeting him this week, so we’ll see if this fight is going to get made or not.”
As shaky as Beterbiev looked against Page Jr, it might not be a good idea to throw him in with an advanced fighter with the kind of hand speed and defensive skills that Chilemba possesses. He’s a lot more advanced than Beterbiev’s recent opponents Tavoris Cloud and Page Jr.
If Beterbiev comes into a fight with Chilemba not using his jab or head movement, he’s going to walk into a lot of punches and be made to look really bad in this fight.
Chilemba arguably beat Tony Bellew twice, but was robbed both times of victory in the eyes of a lot of boxing fans. If Chilemba is good enough to beat a tough slugger like Bellew, he very well could do the same thing against Beterbiev, especially if he uses some movement to avoid his inside fighting.