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Artur Beterbiev ready to fight Canelo Alvarez

Image: Artur Beterbiev ready to fight Canelo Alvarez

By Jim Maltzman: Artur Beterbiev (16-0, 16 KOs) made it known last Saturday night that he’s now ready to defend his IBF & WBC light heavyweight titles against superstar boxer Canelo Alvarez next following his successful title defense against challenger Adam Deines at the Megasport Arena in Moscow, Russia.

Beterbiev knocked Deines down twice in the fight to get the knockout in the 10th. For Beterbiev, this was his first fight in 17 months, and he looked good. The left hook that Beterbiev knocked Deines out with in the 10th round was devasting.

When asked to confirm the rumor that Team Canelo had supposedly contacted him about a fight recently, Beterbiev’s coach Marc Ramsay said it “Never” happened.”

Canelo or his team never contacted them, but they are very interested in fighting him now. Beterbiev says he would take the fight with Alvarez.

Assuming Canelo chooses not to face the unbeaten Beterbiev for his IBF/WBC 175 lb titles, he plans on facing the winner of the April 10th fight between Maxim Vlasov and Joe Smith Jr.

Those two are battling for the vacant WBO light heavyweight title on ESPN and ESPN+ at the Osage Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

YouTube video

Beterbiev’s post-fight questions about Canelo Alvarez

Media: “Last month, we heard about Canelo’s team sending a call out to you and some kind of information you said you didn’t receive an answer.”

Beterbiev: “Can my coach answer?”

Marc Ramsay: “No, never. No, it never happened, and we’re still waiting close to the phone [for a call from Team Canelo].”

Media: “And if the phone rings tomorrow, what would you guys say?”

Beterbiev: “We’re going to have a meeting and team them [Team Canelo], ‘Yes.’ We don’t need a meeting.”

It would be bold of Canelo (55-1-2, 37 KOs) to accept a fight with Beterbiev, as it would erase the image that boxing fans have of the Mexican star as an opportunist way he selects his opposition.

Canelo took criticism from boxing fans when he moved up to 175 in 2019 and fought then WBO champion Sergey Kovalev.

The Mexican star’s trainer Eddy Reynoso justified the selection of Kovalev by saying that he viewed him as the best fighter in the light heavyweight division, which fans had a hard time believing.

Image: Artur Beterbiev ready to fight Canelo Alvarez

Right now, it’s not a good time for a fight between Beterbiev and Canelo to take place, given that the Mexican star is in the middle of attempting to unify the 168-lb division.

Alvarez had captured half of the four titles in that weight class, beating WBA champions Rocky Fielding and Callum Smith and picking up the vacant WBC belt with his win over Callum.

Canelo has two titles to go against WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders on May 8th and IBF champ Caleb Plant in September. If Canelo unifies the 168-lb division, there’s a possibility that he’ll turn his attention to the light heavyweight division to try the same fete.

If Reynoso is serious about Kovalev being the #1 fighter at 175, it should be no problem for Canelo to return to the light heavyweight division to snatch the IBF & WBC belts from Beterbiev, WBA belt from Dimitry Bivol, and the WBO strap from the winner of the Joe Smith Jr vs. Vlasov fight.

It’s unrealistic Canelo will elect to return to the 175-lb division if he’s successful in unifying the 168-lb division.

There something disconcerting about how Canelo’s fight with Kovalev looked, with it seemingly appearing to be a slow sparring match.

Even with Kovalev seemingly fighting at one-quarter tempo, Canelo had a lot of problems with him.

Image: Artur Beterbiev ready to fight Canelo Alvarez

In a fight with Beterbiev unloading at full power, Canelo might not last long, which is why he likely won’t take the fight. Canelo’s forte is to make guys miss when they target his head, but it wouldn’t be that way in a fight with Beterbiev.

He would target Canelo’s body, and we could see him get worn down the way Deines was last Saturday.

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