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Boxing | International

Koelling and Beterbiev meet for IBF belt



Artur Beterbiev faces Enrico Koelling in a clash for the vacant IBF light-heavyweight belt at the Save Mart Arena in Fresno California on Saturday night.

The title became vacant after the retirement of Andre Ward.

Beterbiev 11-0; 11 from Russia who fights out of Montreal, Canada goes into the fight as the favourite.

The 32-year-old Beterbiev as an amateur won a silver medal at the 2007 World championships, gold at the 2009 World championships, and reached the quarterfinals in the heavyweight class at the 2012 Olympics in London.

He made his professional debut on June 8, 2013 with a second-round stoppage win over Christian Cruz (12-16-1)

All his fights have ended inside the distance in the early rounds with the longest being a seventh stoppage win over Alexander Johnson (16-2) in June 2016.

Koelling, 27, made his pro debut in September 2012 and has compiled a record of 23 wins with 6 coming inside the distance.

The only loss on his record was against Mirco Ricci on points in February 2015.

At the 2012 Olympics he won his first fight and then lost to Abdelhafid Benchabla from Algeria.

The big punching Beterbiev must be favoured to once again win inside the distance.

The other major organisation champions are WBA, Dmitry Bivol, WBC, Adonis Stevenson and the WBO title is vacant.

OTHER FIGHTS THIS WEEKEND

Two top British junior-middleweights Liam Williams 16-1-1; 11 and Liam Smith 25-1-1; 14 meet in a return match at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle.

In April they fought a toe-to-toe battle before Williams was pulled out by his corner at the start of the tenth round due to a bad cut over his eye.

On the undercard Scotland’s Commonwealth junior-welterweight champion Josh Taylor 10-0; 9 meets Mexico’s former IBF lightweight champion Miguel Vazquez 39-5; 15 in a 12 rounder.



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