Light Heavyweight Mystery: The Artur Beterbiev Factor
By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent
Stockton, CA (May 4t, 2019)– The light heavyweights have become dominated by a short list merry-go-round of names: Sergey Kovalev: Dmitry Bivol: Artur Beterbiev; Marcus Browne; Eleider Alvarez. Of these names, Beterbiev has remained somewhat of a mystery due to relative inactivity. Beterbiev fought only once in 2017, and once in 2018, under the Groupe Yvon Michel banner.
In litigation, Beterbiev argued his 2013 two year contract, extended to 2015, had expired by March 2017 for two reasons. One, he was not paid out in full for a December 2015 bout with Isidro Prieto by the following March; and two, he was not getting the contractual four bouts a year as promised. In 2018, in terms of the legal contractual interpretation, a Canadian judge ruled against him, though, because Beterbiev, the International Boxing Federation World Light Heavyweight champion, had agreed to a process of elimination bouts in order to get him the IBF world title, and his arguments did not affect the upward progress of his career, in good faith, ruling Beterbiev’s contract was valid through 2021 with Yvon Michel. However, Beterbiev and Groupe Yvon Michel settled out of court earlier this year. The Beterbiev court battles were ane education to Yvon Michel to avoid the classic egal entanglement oc court costs over time, which are not cost effective in terms of keeping a fighter under contract versus making a financial agreement and letting him go.
Beterbiev, 13-0 with 13 knockouts, Montreal, Canada, by way of Khasavyurt, Russia, entered in to a co-promotional agreement with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing for one fight. Beterbiev then signed with Bob Arum’s Top Rank and ESPN, under whose banner he will be aligned with on Saturday evening, May 4, 2019, in Stockton Arena in Stockton, California, when he defends his International oxing Federation World Light Heavyweight title against Radivoje Kalajdzic, 24-1 with 17 knockouts, Saint Petersburg, Florida, by way of Bosnia and Herzegovina, at Stockton Arena, in Stockton, California, on May 4, 2019.
Kalajdzic’s lone loss was a controversial eight split decision to Marcus Browne which looked to this reporter, who was then present, like a Barclays Center robbery American fighter, for the vacant World Boxing Council USNBC Light Heavyweight title at Barclays in April 2016. One way or another, the dangerous and hungry Kalajdzic is going to take the relatively inactive Beterbiev on a nightmare 12 round trip to hell which could go either way, and could be the better fight of the night, rather than the DAZN Saul Alvarez versus Daniel Jacobs fight on the same night in Las Vegas. On the Stockton Arena undercard, 17-2 Dominican Light Heavyweight Felix Valera is favored to win by eight round decision over 2-6 Mexican veteran Mario Aguilar. 30-1-2 Filipino Jerwin ‘Pretty Boy’ Ancajas, the IBF World Super Flyweight champion, is favored to defend his world title and win by 12 round unanimous decision over 31-7 tough game challenger Ryoichi Funai of Tokyo, Japan.
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