Phenom puncher Artur Beterbiev returns to the ring on Friday, December 23, taking on hard-hitting and hard-jawed Isidro Ranoni Prieto at Lac Leamy Casino in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada.
Fighting out of Montreal by way of Khasavyurt, Russia, since 2013, 31-year-old Beterbiev is not only undefeated but has won all 10 of his fights by knockout. The transplanted Russian won the then-vacant WBA-NABA light heavyweight title by knocking out Tavoris Cloud in the second in September 2014. He scored both the then-vacant WBO NABO light heavyweight title and the then-vacant IBF North American light heavyweight title three months later by knocking out Jeff Page Jr. in the second, as well as the then-vacant WBO International light heavyweight title in June 2015 by stopping Alexander Johnson via seventh-round TKO. Third-ranked by the WBA, Beterbiev was out of the ring with a shoulder injury till this June, when he stopped Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna by fourth-round TKO.
Born in Capiata, Paraguay, but fighting out of Quilmes, Buenos Aires, Argentina, since 2009, 30-year-old Prieto (26-1-3, 22 KOs) won the then-vacant Paraguayan light heavyweight title in June of his debut year by outpointing Javier Corrales. Two years later, in April, “El Guerrero” scored the interim WBC Mundo Hispano light heavyweight title by knocking out Nestor Fabian Casanova in the first. He also won the then-vacant WBO Latino light heavyweight strap by stopping Jorge Rodriguez Olivera via sixth-round TKO in September 2013 and the interim South American light heavyweight strap 10 months later by stopping Miguel Angel Cobas via fifth-round TKO. Never stopped, Prieto’s only loss came in August 2015, losing in his quest for the WBC Silver light heavyweight title to Eleider Alvarez, who won by unanimous decision. He most recently fought this April, kayoing Samuel Miller in the first.
“I’m really happy with the turn of events,” says Beterbiev. “During his time in Montreal, Prieto has shown that he is a true warrior and that’s the kind of opponent I want to face.”
“Prieto is by far the best fighter available to fight Artur,” says Marc Ramsay, the Russian-Canadian’s trainer. “He is very aggressive and his style insures a fight filled with action.”
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.