Artur Beterbiev, the Russian-born puncher who moved to Montreal nearly a decade ago to begin his professional career, will finally get the chance to defend his titles in his adopted hometown.
Beterbiev (16-0, 16 KOs), boxing’s only world champion with a 100 percent knockout rate, will defend his WBC and IBF light heavyweight titles against 2012 U.S. Olympian Marcus Browne this Friday at Bell Centre in Montreal.
Browne (24-1, 16 KOs), who once held an interim world title, returned to the ring in April with a 10-round decision over Denis Grachev.
He lost his interim belt in August 2019 via technical decision to Jean Pascal, which came off the heels of his career-best victory over Badou Jack. Browne, in his first bout outside of the United States, hopes to stun Beterbiev, who is upwards of an 11-1 betting favorite.
Beterbiev unified world titles in October 2019 with a 10th-round TKO over Oleksandr Gvozdyk and returned to action in March with a 10th-round stoppage over Adam Deines.
This is what the main event fighters and their trainers had to say.
“We are ready. We had a good training camp, and I am ready to show my best on Friday night.”
Marc Ramsay (Beterbiev’s Trainer)
“I’m very enthusiastic about this fight. It’s been a long time since we have been able to defend the titles in front of a crowd in Montreal, and we look forward to that. It’s been a great training camp. We’ve seen Marcus before, so we know his strengths and weaknesses, and you will see what happens on Friday night.”
“We trained hard for the fight. He’s a tough customer, but on Friday night, we are changing the narrative.”
“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t believe, and come Friday night, you will see. I’m tired of talking. I want to fight.”
Derrick James (Browne’s Trainer)
“We’re very happy to be here. I found out when we got here that Marcus was a huge underdog, and we embrace that. This will be a historic fight. After Marcus wins the title, it will make me the only trainer in history to have three unified champions at the same time: Marcus Browne, Jermell Charlo, and Errol Spence.”
“I know who I am. I know Marcus will do what I ask him to do. When he came to me, he was already a good fighter and I just helped him build on that. I believe in myself, and I believe in Marcus.”
Friday, December 17, 2021
ESPN+, 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT
Artur Beterbiev vs. Marcus Browne, 12 rounds, Beterbiev’s WBC/IBF Light Heavyweight World Titles
Marie-Eve Dicaire vs. Cynthia Lozano, 10 rounds, Vacant IBF Female Junior Middleweight World Title
Steve Rolls vs. Christopher Brooker, 10 rounds, super middleweight
Yan Pellerin vs. Francisco Rivas, 10 rounds, Vacant NABO Cruiserweight Title
Arthur Biyarslanov vs. Alan Ayala Crisosto, 8 rounds, junior welterweight
Batyrzhan Jukembayev vs. Juan Jose Martinez, 6 rounds, welterweight