Beterbiev gets shot at world crown
MONTREAL • When Russian boxer Artur Beterbiev moved to Montreal in 2013, his goal was to win a world title as quickly as possible.
Beterbiev will get his chance on Saturday when he faces Enrico Kolling of Germany for the vacant International Boxing Federation light- heavyweight title in Fresno, Calif.
The hard-hitting Beterbiev (11- 0) has stopped every opponent he has faced and has never been taken beyond seven rounds. Kolling (23-1) has only six knockouts.
“Kolling is probably the most complete fighter we’ve faced,” Beterbiev’s trainer Marc Ramsay said this week. “He’s not as much of an attacking threat as ( former champion) Tavoris Cloud, but he is very strong defensively.
“He’s a guy who had a solid amateur career, where he faced a lot of good boxers. He really has a lot of experience. I’m expecting a good fight.”
It was to have been an elimination bout to determine the mandatory challenger for Andre Ward, but when the unified champion retired, his championship titles from the IBF, the World Boxing Association and the World Boxing Organization were left vacant. After negotiations with the IBF, it was decided Beterbiev and Kolling would fight for the title.