Fight fans could be in store for one more exciting battle of punchers before Christmas, as light-heavyweights Artur Beterbiev and Isidro Prieto clash on Friday night in Canada. Unbeaten Beterbiev, 10-0(10) is seen by many as the most dangerous 175-pounder on the planet and a star in the making.
Comparisons have even been made between Beterbiev and feared middleweight king Gennady Golovkin (what a pity these two will never fight one another; they won’t, right!?) Yet despite all this, Prieto and his camp are very confident of scoring the upset this week. As quoted by BoxNation (who will televise the fight live in the UK), Prieto’s manager Sergio Rodriguez said there has been a plan on how to beat Beterbiev formed for four months and that the puncher from Paraguay is “hungry” and “not afraid to trade and go to war.”
The idea of trading with the heavy-handed Beterbiev might seem a foolish one, even if Prieto has never been stopped in compiling his good 26-1-3(22) pro ledger. Still, in terms of pro experience and of number of rounds completed, Prieto has an edge over Beterbiev, who turned pro just three-and-a-half years ago – compared to almost eight years ago for the Argentine-based Prieto.
Beterbiev can be hit and he can be knocked down – see his up from the floor win over Jeff Page Jnr in December of 2014 – but so far no-one has really come close to hurting the former amateur great. Zeroing in on a world title shot already, Beterbiev has the definite look of a future champion. Prieto, the younger man by a year at age 30, is talking a good fight and of course he can punch too. Could we see a big upset to close out 2016? It can never be ruled out, but a Beterbiev win has to be the pick for Friday night. But the Russian banger might have to work harder than ever before in his pro career.
Yet to be extended beyond the seventh round, Beterbiev might have to go into the later rounds against his tough and determined underdog rival.