Artur Beterbiev has poured ice on talk of him jumping up to heavyweight to face Oleksandr Usyk in the future, stating that the increase in weight would simply be too great.
Speaking to Boxing Social at a media scrum for the open workouts today, unified light heavyweight world champion Beterbiev did however keep open the possibility of facing Usyk at cruiserweight, if the Ukrainian was ever to move back down.
“I don’t know, now he [Usyk] is at heavyweight. At cruiserweight, it’s possible but I don’t think so at heavyweight. That’s too much weight to gain.”
The pair actually locked horns three times in the amateur ranks, with the rivalry currently standing at 2-1 to Usyk. The Ukrainian avenged his 2007 loss by dumping Beterbiev out of the AIBA world championship quarter-finals in 2011 and the London Olympics quarter final in 2012.
As interesting as speculation of a super fight between the two elite men is, ‘King Artur’ will be fully focused on his 175lbs title defence against Anthony Yarde this weekend, which takes place at the OVO Arena in London.
The contest will be Yarde’s second crack at world honours, after he fell short against Beterbiev’s countryman Sergey Kovalev back in 2019.
Beterbiev himself looks an even tougher task for the Londoner. He boasts an undefeated record of 18-0, and is currently the only world champion in the sport to have ended all of his fights inside the distance.
Yarde himself has brought about 22 of his 23 wins to an early conclusion, so the three ringside judges are unlikely to be called upon this Saturday night.
The winner looks set to take on Callum Smith next, after the WBC confirmed at their Alcapulco convention that the Liverpudlian was now their mandatory challenger.