Artur Beterbiev Remains Boxing’s Sole World Champ To Have Won ALL His Fights By KO

Russian powerhouse Artur Beterbiev might be the best light-heavyweight in the world right now. The reigning IBF and WBC 175 pound champ certainly holds the distinction of being the ONLY reigning world champion to have won each and every one of his pro fights by KO. That’s quite an impressive stat, as the oft-used adage in boxing says ‘you can’t knock ’em all out.’ But Beterbiev can, and so far, he has. Last night’s fight with Russian-born, German-based challenger Adam Deines went longer than most of us felt it would, with Beterbiev improving to 16-0(16) via tenth round KO. Maybe Beterbiev was suffering from ring-rust, as would have been understandable seeing how the 36 year old was having his first fight in almost a year-and-a-half. Also, Deines, who fell to 19-2-1(10), is a tough man.

So with his 100 percent KO record intact, what next for Beterbiev? For some time, the Russian master blaster has wanted to unify the light-heavyweight division. The remaining belts Beterbiev needs to win are currently in the possession of Dmitry Bivol, his countryman holding the WBA title, while the WBO belt is currently vacant and will be decided by Joe Smith Jr and Maxim Vlasov (yet another Russian 175 pounder), who will fight next month, on April 10. It would be great to see Beterbiev fight either Bivol or the Smith Jr-Vlasov winner. The age of 36 is somewhat advanced for any fighter and it’s not clear how long Beterbiev has left. Of course, Beterbiev has not had too many fights, nor has he had many long or punishing fights, with plenty of his bouts ending way before the later rounds (11 of Beterbiev’s fight have ended before the fourth round). Beterbiev is still fresh.

Bivol, 17-0(11) will next defend his WBA belt against Britain’s Craig Richards, this on the Dereck Chisora-Joseph Parker card set for May 1st. No disrespect to Richards, but one huge upset aside, Bivol will lodge up a ninth successful defence of his title. Will the two Russians, Bivol and Beterbiev, then get it on? It would be a great fight if it did happen. Both men feel they are the best in the world at 175 pounds and both men have fans who strongly agree with them. But can any man take Beterbiev’s power? So far no fighter has been able to do so, hence that perfect KO record.

It was good to see Beterbiev back in action last night and hopefully, he will not be out for anything like as long before his next fight. It will also be good to see Bivol make his ring return in May, Bivol also being out since October of 2019. Could 2021 be the year we see an undisputed light-heavyweight king? if Bivol wins, and if we get a clear winner from the Smith Jr-Vlasov fight, wouldn’t it be great to then see Beterbiev get fights with his two rival world champions?