Artur Beterbiev ill with COVID-19, Jan.30th fight against Adam Deines postponed
By Matt Lieberman: In bad news in the 175-lb division, IBF/WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs) has tested positive for COVID-19, and his January 30th scheduled defense against #5 IBF contender Adam Deines has now been postponed.
Top Rank, the promoters for the event, have yet to reveal when the fight between the exciting knockout artist Beterbiev and Deines will be rescheduled. Beterbiev vs. Deines had been scheduled to take place at the VTB Arena in Moscow, Russia.
2020 has been a bad year for Beterbiev
Beterbiev, 35, had bad luck this year, first losing out on a title defense against Fanlong Meng, and then having his fight against Deines twice postponed.
The big-punching Beterbiev was supposed to defend against the German fighter Deines on October 23, but a ribcage for the two-time Russian Olympian caused the fight to be moved to January 30th.
Hopefully, the Beterbiev – Deines doesn’t get pushed back too far into the year, as this was more of a stay busy fight for Artur. Beterbiev has a lot of opportunities for interesting fights in 2021, but he can’t get to them if his low-level match against Deines keeps getting postponed repeatedly.
Fans want to see Beterbiev face WBA light heavyweight champion Dimitry Bivol in a unification. If knockout artist Joe Smith Jr captures the vacant WBO title in 2021, a fight between him and Beterbiev will get a lot of interest from fans worldwide.
Additionally, a match between WBA ‘regular’ 175-lb champion Jean Pascal and Beterbiev would be interesting to see.
Pascal (35-6-1, 20 KOs) has rejuvenated his career with consecutive victories over Marcus Browne and Badou Jack after losing to Dimitry Bivol by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision in 2018.
Beterbiev destroyed Gvozdyk
It’s been 14 months since Beterbiev last fought, defeating previously unbeaten WBC 175-lb champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk by a 10th round knockout in Philadelphia.
Going into that fight, many members of the boxing media were picking Gvozdyk to defeat Beterbiev, including a number of ESPN analysts.
Beterbiev shocked the world by going after Gvozdyk with body shots and subsequently wore him down until stopping him in the 10th round. This was a great fight that won a lot of new fans for Beterbiev, who is proving to be one of the best fighters the 175-lb division has had in years.
It was disappointing recently when Canelo Alvarez moved up to 175 and chose to face the fading Sergey Kovalev for his WBO light heavyweight title in November 2019.
Boxing fans wanted to see Canelo test himself against the best by facing unified champion Beterbiev for his IBF/WBC titles, but Alvarez took the easier option. The way that Beterbiev took Gvozdyk apart with body shots, Canelo made a wise decision to duck the fight with him and go for the easy option against Kovalev.
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