IBF & WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev (17-0, 17 KOs) put on a heroic performance in coming back from a terrible cut in the fourth round to wear down and stop challenger Marcus Browne (24-2, 16 KOs) in the ninth round on Friday night at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.
Browne, 31, looked like he was on his way to a victory after starting strong in the first three rounds, outboxing the slower 36-year-old Beterbiev.
The movement and fast shots from Browne kept the unbeaten two-time Russian Olympian Beterbiev from getting to him in the first three rounds.
In the fourth round, Beterbiev was cut badly from a clash of heads with Browne. From that point on, Beterbiev went all out, cutting off the ring on Browne and hitting him hard to the body.
In the fifth round, Browne shelled up on the ropes in the last 20 seconds and took a terrible pounding from Beterbiev.
Browne was dropped in the seventh round and then knocked down again by Beterbiev with a body shot in the ninth round. The fight was then halted at :46 of the round.
Maria-Eve Dicaire (18-, 1 KOs) battered previously unbeaten Cynthia Lozano (9-1, 7 KOs) for six rounds before the referee stepped in and halted the beatdown in the seventh.
With the victory, Dicaire captured the vacant IBF female super welterweight title.
The bout was halted at 1:03 of the seventh. Lozano was pretty wild the entire fight, winging big shots, missing, and getting countered repeatedly by Dicaire. She looked raw and in need of more work.
Dicaire was better but she wasn’t impressive either and showed little in the way of power. It’s good that she captured a title, but it’s difficult imagining her holding onto the belt for long.
Steve Rolls (21-1, 12 KOs) looked impressive tonight, rolling over Christopher Brooker (16-9, 6 KOs) in a ninth round knockout.
Brooker spent much of the fight holding on, trying to get out of the way of Rolls’ big shots. In the ninth round, Rolls dropped Brooker to get the stoppage.
The ending came at 1:32 of round nine. Rolls hurt Brooker with a left followed by a right to the head.
Rolls then nailed him with some hard body shots and dropped him with a massive right to the head. Brooker tried to peel himself up off the canvas to give it one last try, but the fight was halted before he could make it back to his feet.
The bout was pretty much one-sided from start to finish with Rolls hitting the journeyman Brooker all night with the kitchen sink. Brooker didn’t have the ability to compete on an even playing field with Rolls, who had him outgunned from the get-go.
Tonight’s fight was another confidence booster for Rolls, who is still trying to pick up the pieces of his career.
A little over two years ago, Rolls was knocked out by Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin in four rounds in a fight shown on DAZN.
Even in that fight, Rolls showed that he has excellent punching power, if not great defense. The fight was competitive up until Golovkin dropped Rolls in the fourth round.
Cruiserweight Yan ‘Wild Thing’ Pellerin (13-1, 5 KOs) was too much for his opponent Francisco Rivas (15-3, 5 KOs) in pounding out a 10 round unanimous division.
Rivas lacked the punching power to make it competitive and was on the receiving end of a thrashing for 12 rounds. The scores were 100-90, 100-90, and 100-90.
The hard-hitting light welterweight prospect Movladdin Biyarslanov (9-0, 7 KOs) took the fight to Alan Ayala (9-3, 5 KOs) in stopping him in the first round after knocking him down twice. The fight was halted at 2;40 of the round in a scheduled eight round bout.
Light middleweight Batyrzhan Jukembayev (19-1, 15 KOs) was too much for Juan Jose Martinez (28-11, 10 KOs) in destroying him in the first round. Jukembayev knocked Martinez down once in the round. The bout was then stopped by the referee Steve St. Germaine at 1:09 of the round.
Undefeated heavyweight Brandon Moore (11-0, 7 KOs) blasted out journeyman Abraham Pascual (14-9, 12 KOs) in another first round stoppage.
Light welterweight Mazlum Akdeniz (15-0, 7 KOs) kept his unbeaten record intact with fourth round knockout win over Arturo Bustamante (9-5, 5 KOs).
Browne and Beterbiev share a common opponent in Radivoje Kalajdzic. While Beterbiev obliterated Kalajdzic in five rounds in an action-packed rock ’em sock ’em fight in May 2019, Browne defeated Radivoje by a controversial eight round split decision in April 2016.
In that fight, Browne was knocked down in the sixth round and looked to be on the verge of being knocked out in the eighth round.
Kalajdzic and Jean Pascal created the blueprint for how to defeat Browne by fighting in an all-out manner, not allowing him to take a breather from the nonstop punching. Pascal defeated Browne by an eight round technical decision in August 2019. Browne won his last fight, beating Denis Grachev by a 10 round unanimous decision earlier this year in March.
During the weigh-in on Thursday, Beterbiev surprisingly came in overweight at 175.2 lbs. Beterbiev was given two hours to lose the weight, and returned an hour later and weighed in successfully at 175 lbs.
We’ll see tonight if Beterbiev shows signs of being weight drained from his struggles to get down to the 175lb limit during camp, and at the weigh-in.
The two-time Russian Olympian Beterbiev, 36, last fought in March, defeating challenger Adam Deines by a tenth round knockout in a competitive fight from start to finish.
Artur Beterbiev vs. Marcus Browne undercard:
Steve Rolls vs. Christopher Brooker
Marie Eve Dicaire vs. Cynthia Lozano
Yan Pellerin vs. Francisco Rivas
Movladdin Biyarslanov vs. Alan Ayala Crisosto
Brandon Moore vs. Abraham Pascual
Mazlum Akdeniz vs. Arturo Bustamante
Batyrzhan Jukembayev vs. Juan Jose Martinez
IBF/WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev (16-0, 16 KOs) puts his perfect record and titles on the line tonight in a high-pressure fight against Marcus Browne in hopes of winning a chance to face Canelo Alvarez in 2022.
If Beterbiev loses tonight, Canelo will be kicking himself for not pulling the trigger on this fight instead of investing the last three years becoming the undisputed champion at 168.
The 36-year-old Beterbiev looks like he’s slowing down, and has visibly lost hand speed since his huge win over WBC light heavyweight champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk in 2019.
Beterbiev vs. Browne will be headlining on ESPN+ at 8:00 p.m ET/5:00 p.m. PT at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.
Beterbiev cannot afford to lose or look bad against Browne (24-1, 16 KOs) if he wants to get chosen by Canelo next year for life-changing money.
Considered to be the boogeyman in the 175-lb division, Beterbiev has knocked out everyone he’s faced during his eight-year professional career, and he wants to keep that reputation alive tonight by taking care of his #1 WBC mandatory challenger Browne.