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Pound 4 Pound Best Beterbiev or “Monster” Inoue?

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By Ken Hissner: Let’s take a look at who this writer feels are two of the best Pound 4 Pound boxers in the world today. 

WBC, WBO and IBF World Light Heavyweight champion unbeaten Artur Beterbiev scored his eighteenth consecutive stoppage last month capturing the IBF World title from champion Joe Smith, Jr., improving his record to 18-0. He completely overwhelmed Smith in 2:19 of the second round scoring a pair of knockdowns.

Beterbiev’s background as an amateur was 96-10 fighting for his home country of Russia. At age 21 in 2006 Beterbiev knocked out future pro’s Ukraine’s Ismayl Sillakh in 2 rounds; South Africa’s Thabiso Mchunu and Cuba’s Yuniel Dortico’s in the first round who became the WBA’s Cruiserweight champion.

In 2009 Beterbiev won the World Amateur championships in Milan, Italy and in 2010 the European Championships in Moscow Russia. In 2011 at the World championships he won his first two matches before losing to current IBF World Heavyweight champion Aleksandr Usyk 17-13 at Baku, AZ and again at the 2012 Olympics by the same score in London, UK, Olympics by the same score.   

Upon turning professional Beterbiev moved to Montreal, Canada. In his sixth fight he won the vacant NABA title knocking out former IBF World Light Heavyweight title champion Tavoris Cloud, 24-2. Next he knocked out Jeff Page, Jr., 15-0. Then he knocked out former IBF Light Heavyweight champion Gabriel Campillo, 25-6-1. All these fights took place in Montreal, Canada.

In June of 2015 Beterbiev made his USA debut stopping Alexander Johnson, 16-2, for the WBO International title in Chicago. He followed up with stoppages of two of Argentina’s boxers Ezeqiel Maderna, 23-2, and Isidro Ranoni, 26-1-3. 

Impressive wins followed for Beteriev stopping Germany’s Enrico Koelling, 23-1, UK’s Callum ‘The One’ Johnson, 17-0, Bosnia’s Radivoje Kalajdzic, 24-1, Ukraine’s Oleksandr Gvozdyk, 17-0, Russian out of Germany Adam Deines, 19-1-1, USA’s two Marcus Browne, 24-1, and Joe Smith, Jr., 28-3.

Let’s take a look at IBF and WBC Bantamweight champion and WBA World Super Bantamweight champion Naoya “Monster” Inoue’s background he was only 14-5 in the amateurs per box rec. In 2011 Inoue won the Presidents Cup in Indonesia.

Inoue turned pro in October 2012 winning his first three bouts by stoppage before winning Japan’s Boxing Commission Flyweight title defeated Ryoichi, 18-1-1. In his sixth fight he won the WBC World Light Flyweight title stopping Adrian “Big Bang” Hernandez, 29-2-1, of Mexico. Two fights later he stopped former WBO Flyweight and Super Flyweight champion Omar “El Huracan” Narvaez, 43-1-2.   

Two fights later Inoue won the WBO World Super Flyweight title stopping Warlito Parrenas, 24-6-1, of the Philippines. Five defenses later he made his USA debut stopping Antonio Nieves, 17-1-2, in California. In his next four fights he stopped France’s Yoan “Yo Boy” Boyeaux, 41-4, WBA Bantamweight champion UK’s Jamie McDonnell, 29-2-1, Dominican’s Juan “Baby Pacquiao” Carlos Payano, 20-1, Puerto Rico’s Emmanuel “Manny” Rodriguez, 19-0, in the UK, former 4 division world champion Nonitro “The Filipino Flash” Donaire, 40-5, and again four fights later. In between he stopped Jason “Mayhem” Moloney, 21-1, of the UK, Michael Dasmarinas, 30-2-1, of the Philippines, Aran Dipaen, 12-1, of Thailand, and in his last fight Donaire in June.      

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