Artur Beterbiev jokes that luck helped defend the belts. But behind this success is the serious work of a great team. Photo: Reuters
It is true that WBC President Mauricio Suleiman stressed that Arthur must first fight Callum Smith. “For us, Beterbiev’s next fight is a mandatory defense. It’s very important,” Suleiman said. “Smith is a great fighter, his only loss was a Saul Alvarez decision.”
When Artur Beterbiev returned with belts from London to Moscow, the RG correspondent asked whether this duel with Bivol was really necessary. After all, now we have two world champions from Russia. “There will be one left, but it will be absolute,” Beterbiev replied. It is clear that Arthur wants this fight. Beterbiev spoke to reporters about Bivol and other possible rivals.
Is it possible to fight Beterbiev – Bivol?
Artur Beterbiev: There is no problem to fight if you want.
And if this fight doesn’t take place, will you be upset?
Artur Beterbiev: No, why? What I could, I won. If it’s not meant to be, then it’s not meant to be.
You, together with Dmitry, were in the national team. Did you fight then?
Artur Beterbiev: He is younger than me. In 2012 I competed in the 91 kg category and the guys did not put less with me. How could I train with someone who competes with 81 or 75 kg?! Dima is a good guy, she has done well. Got it, she won the title. What else to say about him. I have a purely sporting interest: the belt from him.
Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol are the best light heavyweights. Will someone be able to combine the titles?
What do you know about Callum Smith?
Artur Beterbiev: To be honest, I have never seen his fights. I don’t want to sound defiant, but I’m not a fan of boxing. When I sign a contract, I start preparing for fights, studying my opponents.
You once said that you wanted to become a good boxer. Under what criteria do you evaluate your state?
Artur Beterbiev: Neither a record of 19 knockout victories nor three championship belts is an indicator of a good boxer. I still have a lot to learn, a lot to improve in technique, in physical form. But for now, I have a well-deserved rest.