Artur Beterbiev retained his WBC and IBF light heavyweight titles in Montreal, knocking out Marcus Browne in a Montreal main event that saw both fighters bloodied, but only one truly battered.
Beterbiev (17-0, 17 KO) and Browne (24-2, 16 KO) both lost a good amount of blood starting in round four, as an accidental clash of heads opened a cut outside Browne’s eye and a deep gash on the forehead of Beterbiev.
With the doctor telling Beterbiev specifically at the start of round five that he only intended the bout to go for one more round, the titleholder turned on the gas. The fight had already seemed to be trending in his direction, as he’d started to take over the tempo and action following a good pair of opening rounds for Browne.
Once the blood was flowing and Beterbiev was put on alert of an imminent cut stoppage, Browne never really got back into the fight.
The bout was obviously not stopped after the fifth, and Beterbiev just kept putting the pressure on, with Browne running out of answers pretty rapidly. The challenger was down in the seventh round, and there was an argument for stopping the fight in the corner after, but he was sent back out.
In round nine, Browne was dropped on a body shot, and that time he took the 10 count, conceding defeat in a tough, hard-hitting fight where he’d just lost all control of what was happening. It had fully become an Artur Beterbiev fight, and Browne couldn’t do anything about it.
Beterbiev, 36, made no grand call-outs after all was said and done, though obviously a lot of people would love to see him fight Canelo Alvarez if Canelo goes back to 175, or face Dmitry Bivol in a unification bout, or really just about anything. Beterbiev is just someone fight fans are going to tune in to watch, because he is guaranteed excitement and entertainment.
- Marie-Eve Dicaire TKO-7 Cynthia Lozano: A brutally awful mismatch, and at the end, Dicaire (18-1, 1 KO) gets her first career stoppage win against Lozano (9-1, 7 KO), who was so much worse than her paper record that it defies description. Dicaire has solid fundamentals, and that was more than enough for her to pick Lozano apart once she got used to the unbelievable awfulness of Lozano’s lunging, rushing attacks. Lozano looked like an untrained fighter by comparison. The win gives Dicaire the IBF 154 lb title again, which was vacant after Claressa Shields gave it up to go back to 160, Shields having beaten Dicaire handily in March of this year to go undisputed at 154. Women’s boxing has definitely improved and will continue to do so, but it’s not remotely unfair to say that the depth — which is a problem in most divisions — falls off a cliff north of 147, maybe even 140, and the fact that Lozano was sanctioned to fight for a vacant world title is ridiculous.
- Steve Rolls KO-9 Christopher Brooker: Basically a higher-end club circuit fight, you may recall the 37-year-old Rolls (21-1, 12 KO) from his ill-fated 2019 fight at Madison Square Garden against Gennadiy Golovkin. This is much more his level, he’s a solid meat-and-potatoes sort of fighter who just isn’t at that top level, but he has good fundamentals and can punch a bit, and he showed it all off here. Brooker (16-9, 8 KO) is stopped for the fifth time in his career; I’d seen him a good handful of times before tonight, and this was as outclassed as I’ve seen him look, I think. Rolls pretty much took him apart before dropping and stopping him finally halfway into the ninth round.
- Yan Pellerin UD-10 Francisco Rivas: Scores were 100-90 across the board. These gentlemen fought to the best of their ability and the 41-year-old Pellerin (13-1, 5 KO) now holds a regional WBO-affiliated cruiserweight belt that hadn’t been in circulation since 2016. Rivas is now 15-3 (5 KO). Happy holidays.
- Arthur Biyarslanov TKO-1 Alan Ayala: Another mismatch between a guy who can fight and a guy who didn’t have much business in a ring with him, but Ayala (9-3, 5 KO) did come in shape and all that. Biyarslanov (9-0, 7 KO) seems like he needs better opponents when you watch him in fights like this, and I mean, he does need better than this, but he did struggle a fair bit against Israel Mercado in April, so maybe this was to build his confidence up some again, and maybe there’s a reason better opponents haven’t really happened yet.
- Batyr Jukembayev TKO-1 Juan Jose Martinez: The stoppage came in just 69 seconds, which is nice of the referee, with Jukembayev (19-1, 15 KO) just demolishing a woefully out of shape Martinez (28-11, 20 KO) immediately. There was some talk about withholding Martinez’s pay in the comments, and I’ll say it again here as I said it there, I think that’s nonsense. If you want to withhold his pay, pull him from the fight ahead of time. He was clearly way out of shape, didn’t come close to making weight, and put in exactly the performance his body advertised in the days before the fight. But if you send him in there to be what it’s clear he was going to be in what was already a mismatch you purposely booked to give Jukembayev an easy bounce-back win, then pay the man.