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Artur Beterbiev to fight in June

Adonis StevensonBy Jeff Aranow: Unbeaten light heavyweight contender Artur Beterbiev (9-0, 9 KOs) will be back inside the ring in June against a still to be determined opponent. His promoter Yvon Michel is working on a fight for the powerful 31-year-old Beterbiev.

Last November, Beterbiev was supposed to fight in a world title eliminator bout against Sullivan Barrera. However, Beterbiev suffered a shoulder injury that required surgery to repair the problem.

At 31, Beterbiev doesn’t have a lot of time to be slowly brought up like other fighters. Beterbiev’s long amateur background in Russia took away his ability to have a long pro career. Beterbiev twice fought in the Olympics and defeated Sergey Kovalev while in the amateur ranks.

Beterbiev might have Kovalev’s number. If he could fight him in the near future before the two of them get much older, it could be an interesting fight.

Beterbiev is coming off a 7th round knockout over Alexander “Woody” Johnson last June. Before that, Beterbiev stopped former world champion Gabriel Campillo in four rounds in April of 2015. Beterbiev looked great in both fights.

It looks like Beterbiev and Stevenson are going to be kept in separate lanes from each other in going after different fighters rather than facing each other. It’s too bad. It would be nice to see Beterbiev and Stevenson face each other.

Stevenson would likely be the favorite due to his hand speed, power and southpaw stance. However, Beterbiev is very good at smothering his opponents by not giving them any space to get their shots off. If Beterbiev did that against Stevenson, he would have a very good shot at beating him.

Michel is also looking to put together a fight for his fighter WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson for a defense of his WBC title in July of this year. It’s unclear who Michel has in mind for Stevenson. Michel should think about putting the 38-year-old Stevenson in with a better class of fighter, because he’s been fighting mostly underwhelming contenders since winning the WBC 175lb title in 2013 against Chad Dawson.

Since winning the belt, Stevenson has beaten Tommy Karpency, Tavoris Cloud, Dmitry Sukhotsky, Tony Bellew and Andrzej Fonfara. If Michel could match Stevenson against someone good like Eleider Alvarez, it would be a major step up in quality for Stevenson.

What you have to be concerned with for Stevenson is him aging out without having one meaningful big money fight while the WBC 175lb champion. Stevenson is making decent money fighting the weaker contenders, but he could make a lot more if he were to really test himself.

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