September 29, 2016 - 8:18 AM
MONTREAL - A pair of big punchers are to meet Dec. 23 at the Lac Leamy Casino in Gatineau, Que., when Montreal-based Artur Beterbiev faces Isidro Prieto of Paraguay, promoter Groupe Yvon Michel announced Thursday.
Russian-born Beterbiev (10-0, 10 knockouts) will be in his second bout since returning in June from a year-long absence with a shoulder injury to stop Ezequiel Maderna in four rounds.
The 31-year-old has a dangerous opponent in Prieto (26-1-3, 22 KOs), who has posted two wins and picked up the WBO Latino title since suffering his only defeat in Montreal in August 2015 by a 12-round unanimous decision to undefeated Eleider Alvarez.
Light heavyweight (175 pounds) is Canada's strongest division.
The Ring magazine ranks WBC champion Adonis Stevenson of Montreal second among light-heavyweights to Russia's Sergey Kovalev, while Montreal-based Colombian Alvarez is ranked third and Beterbiev sixth.
"Despite the claims from some promoters and light heavyweight challengers it's a fact that Artur Beterbiev is the most dangerous and biggest threat to all of the world light heavyweight champions," Michel said. "All contenders for titles change their minds when it comes to getting in the same ring with him.
"Isidro Prieto is a fierce fighter who accepted the challenge, also believing he has the style to repel even the most courageous boxer. He is determined to make a name for himself. We certainly admire his determination."
Beterbiev is a two-time Russian Olympian and a world championship gold medallist who defeated Kovalev as an amateur. He is ranked in the top four by all the major fight sanctioning bodies.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2016