MONTREAL (August 27, 2014) – Former world amateur champion and two-time Russian Olympian Artur Beterbiev (5-0-0, 5 KOs), who moved to Montreal more than a year ago when he first turned professional, will face former International Boxing Federation (IBF) light heavyweight champion Tavoris “Thunder” Cloud (24-2-0, 19 KOs), Saturday night, September 27 at Bell Centre in Montreal.
“Red Dawn,” featuring Beterbiev vs. Cloud for the vacant North American Boxing Association (NABA) light heavyweight title, is co-promoted by Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM) and InterBox, in association with Eye of the Tiger Management (EOTTM) and the participation of Don King Productions (DKP), and co-presented by Mise-O-Jeu and Videotron.
Beterbiev, 29, has lived with his family in Laval for more than one year. His wife gave birth to their third child a few weeks ago at St. Mary’s General Hospital in Montreal. The newborn, Sofia, joined siblings Akhmad, 4, and 2-year-old Amira in the Beterbiev family. A graduate of the University of Dagestan in Makhachkala with a degree in law, Beterbiev had an outstanding amateur career, earning gold medals as a heavyweight in the 2006 World Cup in Baku and 2008 World Cup in Moscow, as well as at the 2009 World Championships in Milan. He also participated in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, bowing out in the second round to the eventual gold medalist, Zhang Xiaoping, of China. Beterbiev also fought at the 2012 London Olympics, where he lost in the quarterfinals to eventual Olympic champion Oleksandr Usyk, of Ukraine. During his incredible amateur career, Beterbiev was crowned Russian and European champion. He has defeated renowned boxers such as Sergey Kovalev twice, Ismayl Sillakh, Michael Hunter Jr., Abbos Atoev and many others. With Anna Reva as his manager, Beterbiev turned pro in 2013 and he is undefeated with all five victories by knockout, fighting a total of only 11 rounds.
The 32-year-old Cloud, fighting out of Tallahassee, Florida, was the IBF light heavyweight champion for four of his 10-year pro career. He originally won the IBF 175-pound championship in 2009 by way of a 12-round decision over Clinton Woods (42-4-1, 25 KOs), successfully defended his IBF title four times against former world champions Glen Johnson (50-13-2, 34 KOs) and Gabriel Campillo (21-3-1, 8 KOs), as well as challengers Fulgencio Zuniga (24-4-1, 21 KOs) and Yusaf Mack (29-3-2, 17 KOs). Cloud’s unbeaten win streak was stopped at 24, along with his championship reign, March 2013 in New York as he lost by 12-round decision to the phenomenal Bernard Hopkins (52-6-2, 32 KOs) . In his attempt to regain a world title on Sept. 28, 2013, Cloud was stopped after seven rounds by World Boxing Council (WBC) light heavyweight champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson (24-1-0, 20 KOs) at Bell Centre.
According to The Ring, Cloud is ranked No. 7 among the best heavyweight in the world, in addition to No. 9 by the WBC and No. 15 by the World Boxing Association (WBA). He has suffered only two defeats during in his pro career, one prior to the distance, but he has never been knocked down. More significantly, Cloud has a decided advantage over Beterbiev in experience having fought a total of 130 rounds, including 75 in world championships. Cloud believes have what it takes to derail his opponent. The combination of his aggressive style and hard proven track record are compelling factors in his favor. Cloud represents a major challenge for Beterbiev, who is prepared to make his mark.
“Artur Beterbiev is an extremely special talent and we have a boundless confidence in his abilities,” GYM president Yvon Michel said. “It is unheard of for a fighter with only five fights of professional experience to headline an event at the Bell Centre against an opponent the caliber of Cloud. Quebec fans, who admired Valeri Kharlamov, Alexander Yakushev and Vladislav Tretiak, and adopted Alex Kovalev and Sergey Markov, will quickly be won over by this Alexander Ovechkin of boxing.”
In the co-feature, former world title challenger Dierry “Dougy Style” Jean (26-1-0, 18 KOs) will defend his NABF lightweight title against Mexican invader Daniel “Cañerito” Ruiz (32-7- 2, 22 KOs).
GYM, InterBox and EOTTM will present an 8-fight card on Sept. 27. Also fighting are two world welterweight contenders from Quebec and Montreal, respectively, Kevin Bizier (21-1-0, 14 KOs) and Antonin Decarie (30-2-0, 9 KOs) in separate bouts. Three promising prospects Junior Ulysses (3-0-0, 3 KOs), Steven Butler (4-0-0, 3 KOs) and Eric Bazinian (5-0- 0 3 KOs) – are also scheduled to be in action on the undercard.
Tickets go on sale this Saturday morning (Aug. 30) at 10:00 a.m. ET and will be available to purchase at Bell Centre, online at www.evenko.ca, or by calling GYM (514 383-0666) and the club Boxing Champion (514 376-0980). Ticket prices range from $50 in the red to $250 on the floor.