Beterbiev battles Browne tonight: Will Canelo fight happen for Artur in 2022?
By Max Schramm: IBF/WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev has a tough fight ahead of him tonight when he defends against Marcus Browne in a battle that could lead to a tremendous money fight against Canelo Alvarez in 2022.
The Beterbiev-Browne event will be streamed tonight on ESPN+ at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT.
Beterbiev (16-0, 16 KOs) is one of the three 175-lb champions that the Mexican phenom Canelo and his coach Eddy Reynoso have their eyes on.
Canelo may make Beterbiev wait
Canelo may save the dangerous puncher Beterbiev until last after he runs the gauntlet against these three fighters first: Ilunga Makabu, Dmitry Bivol, and Joe Smith Jr.
To stay in the picture for a clash against Alvarez, the 36-year-old Beterbiev must beat the 2012 U.S Olympian Browne (24-1, 16 KOs) tonight at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.
Of the 16 guys that eight-year professional Beterbiev has faced, the 6’1 1/2″ Browne arguably possesses the best combination of boxing skills, size, and power.
Although Beterbiev has faced slightly bigger punchers than Browne in Oleksander Gvozdyk, Callum Johnson, and Radivoje Kalajdzic, those fighters lacked the mobility and skills of the New York-born Marcus possesses.
Browne is on another level than anyone Beterbiev has faced in the pro ranks in terms of athletic skills.
You have to go back to Beterbiev’s amateur days when he fought Oleksandr Usyk in 2012 to where he fought a guy with the type of boxing skills that Browne possesses. Interestingly, Beterbiev lost to Usyk by a 17-13 score.
Canelo wants to become the undisputed champion in a second weight class after capturing all the titles at 168 last November, but it’s uncertain when he’ll begin his quest.
He’s asked permission of the World Boxing Council to freeze his super middleweight titles while he moves up to cruiserweight to take on Ilunga Makabu next.
DuBoef: Beterbiev is a BEAST
“Beterbiev is the opposite of Vasiliy Lomachenko stylistically,” Todd DuBoef said to Sky Sports. “He is a force of nature.
“Beterbiev is an absolute beast. He will hunt you down, take what you’ve got, and take your head off!”
DuBoef is correct about Beterbiev being a seek & destroy type of fighter with excellent power and a dangerous inside game that most fighters have never seen before.
Canelo has never had to fight a guy with an inside game like Beterbiev, but his skills will erode with age if he waits for the Russian fighter long enough.
Beterbiev will be turning 37 next month on January 21st, and if Canelo can wait until 2023 before fighting him, he’ll be 38 and likely have lost enough from his game for him to be harmless.
“The biggest thing for him is: what’s next? Does he get a shot at Canelo? What are his opportunities?” said DuBoef.
When you’re talking Canelo, ‘coming events cast their shadows before,‘ meaning that the Mexican star has shown a tendency to wait out dangerous fighters until they age enough for him to beat them.
A perfect example of Canelo doing that was in his fight with Gennadiy Golovkin.
Canelo could have fought Golovkin when he was 32 and in his prime, but he didn’t fight him for four years until he was 36. He was coming off two unimpressive performances against Danny Jacobs and Kell Brook.
If Canelo follows his past match-making behavior, he’ll wait until Beterbiev is 38 before fighting him in 2023.
It’s also possible that Canelo could wait until Beterbiev is 39 before facing him if he looks exceptional in 2022 in his title defenses.
Arum says Canelo vs. Beterbiev is possible in 2022
“He has expressed interest to me about fighting Beterbiev,” said promoter Bob Arum about Canelo.
“I would look forward to May or September, the two dates that Canelo likes to fight,” said Arum.
Beterbiev vs. Browne undercard:
- Marie-Eve Dicaire vs. Cynthia Lozano
- Steve Rolls vs. Christopher Brooker
- Yan Pellerin vs. Francisco Rivas
- Arthur Biyarslanov vs. Alan Ayala Crisosto
- Batyrzhan Jukembayev vs. Juan Jose Martinez
- “Canelo is going to shut everybody up” – Richard Schaefer
- Eddie Hearn wants to stage Canelo vs. Ryder in stadium in UK
- Bivol says Canelo filled with excuses about loss
- John Ryder wants Canelo Alvarez next in UK after beating Zach Parker