We’ve seen what can happen when a fighter gets too ambitions, when he dares to be too great, and goes up too high in weight. Weight divisions are there for a reason, after all. But the man of the moment at light-heavyweight, Artur Beterbiev, has spoken a little bit about the possibility of making the move up to cruiserweight and then, perhaps, to heavyweight.
Speaking with the media after Saturday night’s crushing win over Joe Smith Jr that saw Beterbiev add the WBO 175 pound title to his WBC and IBF belts, the 37 year old was asked what he might do after he gets his hoped for unification fight with countryman Dmitry Bivol. Beterbiev says he needs the Bivol fight, that the sport of boxing needs it, and we all agree with him wholeheartedly. But assuming Beterbiev does defeat Bivol and rules as the four-belt king at light-heavyweight, what then; would he move up to cruiserweight?
“That’s interesting,” Beterbiev said in response to the question asked him by Fight Hub. “It’s interesting to think about what comes after. First cruiserweight and after, heavyweight. I hope my promoter will organise this for me. We’re gonna see.”
Beterbiev, 18-0(18) fought as a heavyweight in the amateurs back in 2012, at the Olympics, and Beterbiev did fight current WBA/IBF/WBO heavyweight champ Oleksandr Usyk in the amateurs (losing on points – 17 to 13). It would be a big jump to cruiserweight, let alone to heavyweight, but what a tantalising thought it is of Beterbiev, if he could carry his brutal punching power up a division (or two) with him!
At a little over 5’11” and with a reach of just 73-inches, Beterbiev would be giving a whole lot away in a fight with the majority of cruiserweights out there, while against the huge heavyweights, forget it. But against Usyk, maybe, just maybe Beterbiev could make things interesting (a catch-weight fight, anyone?)
It’s just talk and a notion at the moment, and first Beterbiev has to beat Bivol (and we all hope that fight gets made sooner rather than later), but if – and it might be a big if – Beterbiev can carry his vaunted power up with him 25 pounds, we could see him capture a belt at 200 pounds. Would you bet against it?