Bob Arum: Beterbiev is a major challenge for Canelo

04/30/2022 - By Jeff Sorby - Comments

Promoter Bob Arum believes Canelo Alvarez will get a serious run for his money when he faces IBF/WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev in 2023 after the two fighters win their interim fights.

Beterbiev’s punching power, inside fighting ability, and emphasis on throwing to the body will make him a nightmare for Canelo. Next year, if that fight happens, it’ll be a big test for the Mexican star Canelo.

The Mexican star Canelo has been riding roughshod over his competition at 168, beating his opposition with ease thus far. He’s now going up in weight to challenge WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol next Saturday, May 7th.

Unfortunately, a loss for Canelo against Bivol next week will likely finish any hopes for a future fight between the superstar and Beterbiev.

Bivol is a test-case for Canelo to show whether he can handle fighting a high-calber 175-lb fighter. Although Canelo showed that he’s capable of beating light heavyweights in 2019 when he defeated 36-year-old WBO champion Sergey Kovalev, he wasn’t in his prime.

If Canelo successfully beats Bivol to capture his WBA 175-lb title, he plans on holding onto the belt to go after the other three titles in the weight class next year.

Canelo (57-1-2, 39 KOs) has three potentially tough fights that he needs to get out of the way against Dmitry Bivol, Gennadiy Golovkin, and a match in December against a still to be determined foe.

Beterbiev (17-0, 17 KOs) is fighting this summer against WBO light heavyweight champion Joe Smith Jr. in a three-belt unification contest at 175 on June 18th at Madison Square Garden in New York.

“Canelo is a friend of mine, and Eddie [Hearn] is a friend of mine. I kibbitz with them, ‘Wait until you go in with the winner of my two light heavyweights, Beterbiev with Joe Smith,’ and then he’ll have a run for his money,” said Bob Arum to K.O. Artists Sports about who can stop the Canelo Alvarez train.

“I know Beterbiev would be a major challenge for Canelo, as would Joe Smith,” Arum continued. “We’ll have to wait and see. With the way things out, that can’t happen until next year because Canelo, after the Bivol fight, is committed to fighting Golovkin,” said Arum.

Beterbiev looked like a wrecking machine in his recent wins over these light heavyweights:

  • Marcus Browne
  • Adam Deines
  • Oleksandr Gvozdyk
  • Radivoje Kalajdzic

It’ll be interesting to watch Canelo battling Beterbiev on the inside, throwing huge shots. Thus far, no one has attempted to fight Canelo in close, and we’ll see what kind of success Beterbiev has by attacking him in that way.

Hopefully, Canelo doesn’t choose to delay the fight against Beterbiev beyond 2023 because he’ll be turning 38-years-old on January 21st.

What Canelo doesn’t need is knowledgeable hardcore boxing fans criticizing him for waiting out Betebiev until he got old before finally fighting him.

Many people believe Canelo intentionally waited until Gennadiy Golovkin was in his mid-30s and had lost a few steps before agreeing to fight him.

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