Artur Beterbiev and Sullivan Barrera will meet in an IBF light heavyweight eliminator, with Yvon Michel, Beterbiev’s promoter, winning a purse bid on Thursday for $251,000, beating out Main Events’ bid of $181,000. No one else bid on the bout.
Beterbiev (11-0, 11 KO) has run through his opponents thus far, but Barrera (18-1, 13 KO) could be a much stiffer test, especially compared to recent opponents. In 2016, Beterbiev fought twice, steamrolling Ezequiel Maderna (TKO-4) and Isidro Prieto (TKO-1). Neither was a real challenge.
Barrera had an up and down 2016, or, I guess, down and up. In March, he lost a decision to Andre Ward in Oakland. In December, though, he knocked off highly-touted, unbeaten prospect Vyacheslav Shabranskyy.
The fight’s date and location have yet to be set, but it should be expected to take place somewhere in Quebec, where Beterbiev and GYM are based. The IBF light heavyweight title is currently held by Andre Ward.
Who do you like in this matchup?