Everything you need to know about light-heavyweight world champion Artur Beterbiev.
|January 21, 1985
|Khasavyurt, Dagestan, Russia
|Callum Smith on Saturday, January 13, 2024
Russian star Beterbiev made a name for himself around the world as an amateur, and he won numerous titles before he eventually joined the pro ranks.
He competed as a light-heavyweight and heavyweight in his amateur career. He won the 2006 European Amateur Boxing Championships, and in 2017, he beat future unified light-heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev in the semi-finals before qualifying for the World Championships, where he suffered a surprise defeat.
At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, he lost to local Zhang Xiaoping, who eventually won the gold medal, but Beterbiev made amends by winning the 2009 World Championships in Milan.
In 2010, he won the European Championships in Moscow before moving to Montreal to pursue his professional career.
After adapting to his new surroundings in Canada, Beterbiev made his professional debut against Christian Cruz in June 2013. He won with ease before racking up another four wins in quick succession.
He was then thrown in against Tavoris Cloud in September 2014, a former IBF light-heavyweight champion. Cloud had lost two successive fights to former world champions Bernard Hopkins and Adonis Stevenson, and he had hoped that a win over Beterbiev would get his world title aspirations back on track for a second time.
Beterbiev made a huge statement, knocking Cloud down on three occasions in the first round, which was a huge statement as Cloud had never hit the canvas as a professional.
Cloud fell to a second-round knockout and would only have one more fight before retiring.
That victory was the catalyst for Beterbiev, who then stopped prospect Jeff Page Jr. in December 2014 before he beat another former IBF champion, Gabriel Campillo, in April 2015.
Campillo was no match for him, but a world title shot continued to evade him as fights kept falling through.
In November 2017, Beterbiev was eventually handed his opportunity at a world title when he faced Enrico Koelling for the vacant IBF world light-heavyweight title after Andre Ward's retirement.
Even though he was not at his best, Koelling's refusal to trade punches ensured fans watched a poor fight, but Beterbiev managed to get the stoppage in the 12th round.
In his first mandatory defence, he tackled British champion Callum Johnson in Chicago. Both men hit the canvas in an action-packed first four rounds before Johnson failed to beat the count.
Beterbiev has gone from strength to strength, and he unified the division with a victory over Oleksandr Gvozdyk in October 2019.
He has since beaten Adam Deines, Marcus Browne, Joe Smith Jr. and Anthony Yarde.
He has ruled supreme since stepping into the ring as a professional, recording 19 consecutive knockout victories.
Beterbiev's next bout will take place on January 13, 2024, when he defends his IBF, WBC and WBO light-heavyweight titles in Quebec against Callum Smith.
Beterbiev was last in action on January 28, 2023, as he defended his three world titles against Yarde. The Russian was put through his paces by Yarde before the Brit hit the canvas in the eighth round and his corner advised the referee to stop the fight.
Beterbiev was born on January 21st, 1985, making him 38 years old.
Beterbiev's net worth is thought to be around $6million.