Artur Beterbiev (-4000) vs Isidro Ranoni Prieto (+12000), Draw (+3300)
Light heavyweight contender Artur Beterbiev (10-0, 10 KO) will take on WBC Latino light heavyweight champion and tenth-ranked light heavyweight in the world Isidro Ranoni Prieto (26-1-3, 22 KO) on December 23rd at the Casino du Lac-Leamy in Gatineau, Quebec.
Beterbiev is the heavy favorite to win the fight, and his camp is likely using the match-up to improve his chances of landing a bout against Andre Ward or Sergey Kovalev. After the Ward-Kovalev rematch, the champion will have to make a title defense, and Beterbiev will work hard to be noticed.
In his amatuer boxing career, Beterbiev faced off against Kovalev twice and beat him both times. The two Russian fighters have come a long way since, and professional bouts are a whole different beast. But Beterbiev has shown he could be a real threat to either of the light heavyweight giants.
With only ten professional fights and none against a worthy opponent, Beterbiev still has a lot to prove. He’s only been a professional fighter for three years and has accomplished a lot more as an amatuer than as a pro. The fight against Prieto will not be the big-ticket fight he’s looking for, but it can provide him with the platform he needs to call out the champ.
Isidro Ranoni Prieto has an impressive win record, but his sole defeat was at the hands of Eleider Alvarez, the only formidable fighter he has faced. The 30-year-old’s mettle has only been truly tested once, and in that bout, he lost by unanimous decision.
Beterbiev will have the hometown advantage, fighting in his adopted home of Quebec, Canada. The Russian slugger has fought all his professional fights in North America, and all but one in Quebec. He’ll be right at ease when he takes on his Paraguayan opponent.
Stylistically, the fighters are similar. Both like to stand and trade blows. Beterbiev has demonstrated he is the superior slugger; all ten of his professional fights have ended by way of knockout. It’s unlikely this one will go the full 12 rounds, and unless something goes horribly wrong for Beterbiev, he’ll be the one left standing.
Pick: Artur Beterbiev (-4000)
Photo credit: “Boxing” by benyup CC BY-SA 2.0 [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0], via Flickr.