Boxing’s preeminent knockout artist didn’t disappoint his partisan fans. Russia’s Artur Beterbiev, in his first bout in 17 months, knocked out Adam Deines in the 10th round to retain his WBC and IBF light heavyweight world titles Saturday at Megasport Arena in Moscow. (Photo credit: Top Rank)
Beterbiev (16-0, 16 KOs) authored a fitting encore to his October 2019 TKO over Oleksandr Gvozdyk, the bout that solidified his place as the world’s best light heavyweight. Three fight dates — one against Meng Fanlong and two against Deines — were postponed before Beterbiev finally returned to the ring.
Beterbiev maintained his status as boxing’s only world champion with a 100 percent knockout rate, returning home to the nation he represented at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. At 36 years old, it appears “King Artur” still has plenty of time left to reign.
Beterbiev clipped Deines (19-2-1, 10 KOs) with a left hook in the opening round, knocking the German to the canvas. The steady pressure of Beterbiev wore down Deines, who was in retreat mode for most of the fight.
Then, in the 10th round, a sledgehammer left hook put Deines down again. Deines’ corner stopped the slaughter, and the crowd got the knockout they so craved.
Beterbiev now sets his sights on a potential unification matchup with the winner of the April 10 vacant WBO light heavyweight world title showdown between Joe Smith Jr. and Maxim Vlasov, which will air live on ESPN and ESPN+.
The victory for Beterbiev, 36, kept him unbeaten and moving forward to bigger and better things.
Deines showed an excellent chin tonight, and a will to give it his all. A lot of fighters would have packed it in early if they were in the same boat at Deines, taking one-way punishment from the hard-hitting Beterbiev.
After coasting through the first eight rounds, Beterbiev turned it up a notch in the ninth, sitting down on his shots a little more.
In the tenth round, Beterbiev continued to unload with everything he had with his punches. It’s difficult to know why Beterbiev waited until late in the fight to go for the finish, but it’s likely that he didn’t want to take out his prey too early.
You have to remember that Beterbiev has been out of action for the last year and a half. He’s had it hard trying to resume his career with injuries and injuries slowing him up.
Deines was on the attack in every round, but he wasn’t able to find enough zip on his shots to make Beterbiev cautious the way he’d been in his last fight against Oleksandr Gvozdyk in October 2019.