A Message to Artur Beterbiev from Team Sullivan Barrera:
Artur, Yesterday, you decided to go to the internet and social media as you have tried to do in the past and paint your own picture of the IBF eliminator bout between yourself and Sullivan Barrera. Maybe your propaganda works in Russia and in Canada but not in the United States. The fact is this fight was doomed to fail from the beginning and you can only look to your fake promoter for reasons and excuses.
First, your promoter decided not to negotiate with Barrera’s promoter Main Events and asked to go to an immediate purse bid. You immediately told the world on your social media account that the fight would be March 4th in Brooklyn, New York. Sullivan Barrera started training for this bout but no contract ever came for this bout.
After your promoter won the purse bid, he then told the world the fight would be in late March or early April in New York. Sullivan continued to train for that bout but again no contract ever came from your promoter.
Then, a few days before your promoter was obligated to meet the IBF’s deadline to send Sullivan Barrera a bout agreement for the eliminator, he is quoted in a Canadian news article about a possible cancellation of the bout if you would not be able to get a visa to enter the United States. You then had to go to your social media to try and correct your own promoter’s quotes and continue to push him to make the bout happen rather than bring up possible excuses to cancel the bout.
Next, your promoter tried to tell the world that the bout would be April 21st in Miami. But following the same pattern, a contract from your promoter never came for that bout either. Instead, he tried to send improper agreements to Main Events with various dates and sites that were all contingent on “financial backers” and could be cancelled and postponed at any time which is against IBF rules. If your promoter didn’t want to negotiate with Main Events in the first place and won the purse bid, why is he trying to make side deals with Main Events instead of just sending a bout agreement?
It was also learned that even after your promoter failed to meet the IBF deadline to submit a proper bout agreement to Barrera with the actual date, site, and location of the bout, he was still reaching out to local promoters in the Miami area and asking them for large amounts of money for the rights to put on the fight in Miami. One of those promoters actually contacted Barrera’s manager and asked his manager to help pay Yvon Michel and finance the bout.
Hopefully you can see how all of these actions (and inactions) raised tremendous concern in the camp of Sullivan Barrera that your promoter was grasping at straws and was not going to be able to properly deliver on the bout. He was in violation of the IBF rules governing the winner of a purse bid and kept trying to find ways around it. As of yesterday, he still wasn’t providing specific information on the site of the bout and at no time has the bout ever been listed on the schedules of any of the main boxing venues in Miami or on any schedule for U.S. television.
While it was always questionable whether your promoter could actually promote a fight of this magnitude in the United States when he has yet to ever do so, we no longer wanted to wait and find out the hard way. Barrera was simply not going to play these games any longer. After training for weeks and spending his own money with little to no certainty as to whether the bout would actually take place, enough became enough. Your promoter got what he wanted and you can thank him for the cancellation of this bout.
Artur, you are a great fighter with a great future. You will either take tough bouts against the best in the light heavyweight division like Sullivan Barrera has done or go the way of your countryman Adonis Stevenson and avoid tough bouts at all costs. You will either be a part of the propaganda and games being played by your promoter or you will demand to be well informed about the truth behind your opponents and the bouts.
But you should know that every story has two sides and Barrera’s track record should leave no doubt about his intentions to fight you and the very best in the division. While you spent all of 2016 fighting whatever cow farmers from Argentina your promoter could find, Barrera was on HBO facing off against Andre Ward and then destroyed the previously unbeaten Slava Shabranskyy.
Have no doubt that Sullivan Barrera was ready to fight you and does not care about the fact that everyone else is afraid of fighting you. But Sullivan needs to be treated like a man and not a piece of meat. If you and your promoter are just looking for fresh meat, you need to keep going back to Argentina.