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Andre Ward says Beterbiev looked “VERY beatable” against Browne

Image: Andre Ward says Beterbiev looked "VERY beatable" against Browne

By Allan Fox: Andre Ward was less than impressed with what he saw from unbeaten IBF/WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev last Friday night with his come from behind ninth round knockout win over Marcus Browne.

Ward says he’s not sure if Beterbiev’s less than spectacular performance resulted from inactivity or his advancing age.

Beterbiev will be turning 37 next month on January 21, and he had a long amateur career in Russia before turning professional in 2013.

With the way Beterbiev looked against Browne, Ward feels that many fighters will want to take him on now, seeing him vulnerable. Artur probably wouldn’t mind that so much if one of them is Canelo Alvarez because he can make a fortune from that fight.

Beterbiev was hampered by a terrible cut that he sustained in the fourth round after a clash of heads with the challenger Browne. The body shots that Beterbiev landed were extraordinary, and there was nothing wrong with his punching power or his ability to go downstairs.

Had Beterbiev landed those same shots on Canelo, it’s fair to say that he would have had the same results.

Ward says Beterbiev looked “Beatable”

The cut opened up a large gash on the forehead of the two-time Russian Olympian Beterbiev, forcing him to fight with blood leaking into both eyes from the fourth round on.

Nevertheless, even before Beterbiev was cut, he struggled to get his shots off, looking rusty and unable to hit Browne when he was moving around the ring.

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The former two-division world champion Ward says the 36-year-old Beterbiev (17-0, 17 KOs) looked “Beatable,” He feels that the Russian fighter failed to pull the trigger when he saw openings.

Ultimately, Beterbiev got his offense going after a slow start in the first four rounds, and he ended up knocking out the younger, faster 31-year-old Browne (24-2, 16 KOs) in the ninth at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.

“This is boxing, and you never know what can happen,” said Beterbiev after the fight when interviewed.

One can argue that Beterbiev’s performance against Browne may have increased his chances of getting a fight against Canelo because the Mexican star has shown a tendency to pick vulnerable fighters.

Looking vulnerable helps Beterbiev

Looking human for a change may ultimately increase Beterbiev’s chances of getting a fight against Canelo, so it might work for him that he didn’t trounce Browne early.

Image: Andre Ward says Beterbiev looked "VERY beatable" against Browne

Canelo is targeting a title shot against WBC cruiserweight champion Ilunga Makabu in early 2022 in May, but his schedule is empty after that. If Canelo feels that Beterbiev is there to be beaten, he opts to take the fight with him in the summer or in September.

Beterbiev knocked Browne down twice in the fight, dropping him with body shots in the seventh and ninth rounds.

You’ve got to give Beterbiev a massive amount of credit for his ability to fight through adversity with a cut as deep as the Lincoln tunnel, and he did an excellent job speeding up the fight to get a stoppage when he needed it.

While Ward may think that Beterbiev looked “Beatable,” it’s easier said than done. The way that Beterbiev took away Browne’s legs with his body shots, he’s capable of doing the same thing to anybody at 175, including Canelo, if he feels brave enough to challenge him for his IBF & WBC titles.

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