Light heavyweight contender Artur Beterbiev, 11-0 11KOs, is close to finally realizing his dream of fighting for a world title. His next fight, November 11th will be for the vacant IBF light heavyweight belt against Enrico Koelling. It has been a long overdue opportunity for the former Olympian, but one most in the industry feel he will be ready for.
In my interview with Artur Beterbiev, I discuss with him the upcoming fight against Koelling and get his thoughts of fighting for a world title. Beterbiev also talks about the light heavyweight division and some of the fights he would be interested in having. Additionally, Artur shares his thoughts on Andre Ward’s retirement and talks about what fans can expect on November 11th. Here is what Artur Beterbiev had to say.
Robert Brown: You have a world title fight against Enrico Koelling coming up how exciting is this opportunity for you and how has training camp gone so far?.
Artur Beterbiev: I started my preparation camp for an eliminator fight. But the eliminator turned into a world title fight. So this training camp is continuing as a preparation for a title fight. I am happy about it. I have come closer to my dream of becoming a world champion. I started moving toward this goal three years ago. I did not know at that time when this moment would come. But now I know about this and I am preparing for this fight with due diligence. My training camp is going very well.
Robert Brown: What do you feel will be your strengths against Enrico Koelling conversely what do you feel are weaknesses of Koelling’s in which you can exploit?.
Artur Beterbiev: I prefer not to discuss anyone’s strengths and weaknesses. Enrico is a very good fighter with many fights on his professional record. You will all see on November 11
Robert Brown: Do you have any concerns about anything Koelling brings to the table what does he have you need to watch out for?.
Artur Beterbiev: I watch his fights, he is my future opponent and he is my number 1 contender for the world title. So I will try to do my best to get the title.
Robert Brown: The Light Heavyweight division is a stacked division with names such as Stevenson, Jack, Alvarez and of course Kovalev how do you feel about the depth and the state of the Light Heavyweight division?.
Artur Beterbiev: I think the fans must be excited about this. There are many good fighters in the division, so, hopefully, they will see lots of goods fights in the future. It is good for the fans of boxing.
Robert Brown: Assuming you get past Koelling who would you like to fast next.
Artur Beterbiev: Let’s not put the cart before the horse. I am completely focused on my title fight now and do not wish to speculate about this.
Robert Brown: You beat former Light Heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev in the amateurs any interest in rekindling that rivalry in the pros should the opportunity present itself how do you think a fight between yourself and Kovalev would play out?.
Artur Beterbiev: I am ready to face anyone in the division. Kovalev, Stevenson or any other fighter. I will be able to give more details if any of them becomes my future opponent. For the moment I am focused on Koelling only.
Robert Brown: What are your thought on a potential mega-fight between Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua who do you think would win?.
Artur Beterbiev: I do not watch boxing unless someone becomes my opponent. So you would better ask specialists about this fight.
Robert Brown: Now that Andre Ward has retired who do you believe is the best Light heavyweight in the division right now, conversely, how do you think a fight between yourself and Andre Ward may have played out
Artur Beterbiev: I did not think about this. Ward decided to leave, so it is his decision. I was ready for the fight against him or any other opponent for the title. As for the best fighter in the division, it would be fair to wait until the title fights are over and then organize the fights between the title holders.
Robert Brown: Please give us your prediction for your fight against Enrico Koelling?
Artur Beterbiev: I cannot predict the result of this fight. But I will try to be in the best shape, because, above all, I must be satisfied with my preparation for this fight. I am very much critical of myself and always set the highest goals before me. That’s why I must prove to myself that I am ready to show my best skills during this fight.