By: Hans Themistode
It was viewed as a grotesque mismatch on paper and it proved to be just that.
Unified light heavyweight titlist Artur Beterbiev (16-0, 16 KOs) had long been known for his concussive knockout power. However, his inability to actually step inside the ring had recently plagued him.
Coming into his showdown against mandatory challenger Adam Deines, many were wondering how the mostly unheralded fighter managed to work his way to the mandated position. With most giving him little to no chance of actually pulling off the upset, Beterbiev wasted no time in squashing any hopes Deines had from the very beginning.
The first round saw a more patient Beterbiev. He came out stalking his man and looked to land big shot early on. Deines, to his credit, was aggressive, he pushed the action and out-landed the long reigning champion. But just when Deines (19-2-1, 10 KOs) appeared to be banking the first round, Beterbiev landed what appeared to be a meaningless shot. That is until Deines went down from the seemingly inconsequential blow.
Deines managed to peel himself up off the deck and fight well but no matter what he threw in the direction of Beterbiev, the unified titlist moved forward with reckless abandon to land an assortment of his own shots.
For much of their contest, Deines moved just enough and punched just enough to allow himself to stay in the contest. With 17 months since his last ring appearance, Beterbiev appeared content with getting the rounds in.
But as the punishment began piling up, Deines began deteriorating.
As round ten rolled around, Beterbiev really turned on the pressure. He trapped his man against the ropes leaving him nowhere to go. Rather than allowing him to take a beating, the referee stepped in to put a halt to their contest.
Next up for the power-punching knockout artist is a date with the winner of Joe Smith Jr. and Maxim Vlasov. The two are slated to face off on April 10th, for the vacant WBO title.