Bob Arum to Artur Beterbiev: “February 2nd your fighting in China against the Chinese guy!”
On October 18, Artur Beterbiev (15-0, 15KO) broke down Oleksandr Gvozdyk (17-1, 14KO) to the body and stopped him in ten rounds to become unified WBC/IBF Light Heavyweight champion.
Coming off a career-best win the question is, “what’s next for the 33 year-old Russian?”
The answer was seeming revealed in the ring immediately after the fight. Top Rank Promoter Bob Arum could be heard live on ESPN camera’s telling Beterbiev:
“February second, you’re fighting in China against the Chinese guy. February second.”
There’s only one Chinese fighter ranked within the three world sanctioning bodies: Meng Fanlong (16-0, 10 KO’s). Fanlong currently ranks first with the IBF and we all know the organization likes to mandate fights after unifications.
Therefore by deduction, Arum told Beterbiev his next fight will be against Fanlong in China on February 2, 2020.
Of course, we still need an official announcement. However, Arum just let the cat out of the bag in terms of Beterbiev’s next move.
However, this is boxing and it’s as much about business as anything else. Over the years, Arum and Top Rank have invested into the Chinese market by staging fight cards in that country.
In short, China is fast become big business and a power-player in the sport. Therefore, when it comes to Beterbiev’s upcoming fight in February, Arum is not only fulfilling sanctioning body obligations.
Let’s be clear, it’s also about Arum further breaking into an ever expanding boxing market.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.