By: Hans Themistode
Artur Beterbiev officially has a date and venue locked in for his next title defense.
The current unified light heavyweight champion will defend both his WBC and IBF 175 pound titles against once defeated Marcus Browne, on December 17th, at Bell Centre in Montreal.
Since turning pro in mid-2013, Beterbiev has been a wrecking ball, stopping all 16 of his opponents. His most impressive victory to date came in late 2019 against former WBC belt holder, Oleksandr Gvozdyk. Despite coming in as an underdog, Beterbiev shook off his doubters, and an early deficit on the scorecards, to pick up the stoppage victory in the 10th round.
Following the win, Beterbiev was mostly sequestered until recently. The 36-year-old skipped the entirety of 2020 for various reasons but proved that he still has the same skull-crushing power in a meeting against Adam Deines earlier this year.
As many expected, there was no reprieve for Deines as he was dropped in the opening round and pounded throughout before succumbing to a tenth-round stoppage defeat.
In the case of Browne, a 2012 Olympian, his career appeared to be right on track. After blowing through the competition early on, Browne picked up the most significant win of his career against former two-division champion Badou Jack in 2019.
Their showdown was nothing short of gory as a clash of heads left Jack split wide open across the forehead. Browne would take full advantage as he boxed his way to a bloody unanimous decision victory. While doing so, Browne nabbed the WBA interim crown.
In his first title defense, Browne took on former titlist Jean Pascal. In spite of being the heavy favorite, Browne was forced to withdraw in the eighth round due to a clash of heads. Once the scorecards were called into action, Browne was incredulous as he was handed the technical decision defeat, the first and only of his career.
The 30-year-old Staten Island, native would spend approximately a year and a half on the sidelines before returning earlier this year, winning a lopsided decision against Denis Grachev.
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