There was a lot of uncertainty in Friday’s light heavyweight title fight between Artur Beterbiev and Marcus Browne. The most pressing issue is whether it will happen.
As the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has spread globally, the city of Montreal and the province of Quebec are among the fastest and most stringent anywhere when it comes to restricting gatherings. On Thursday, the day before the game, the NHL hockey game between the Montreal Canadaiens and the Philadelphia Flyers was ordered to be played without fans in attendance. Later that night, it was announced that Saturday night Canada’s game would be postponed.
Betterbiev-Browne was held at the same venue on the day between those two events. The day before the match, there is a chance that the fight will happen with the audience as planned, without any spectators, or not at all. Until the morning of the match, participants and fans had no absolute certainty that the event was even happening.
When promoter Yvon Michel announced that public health authorities had allowed the event to continue as planned, with some 4000 fans indoors, uncertainty gave way to a sense of certainty that existed. at every time Beterbiev entered a boxing ring. As the only world champion of boxing with a 100% knockout rate, it can most accurately be said that he will eventually get injured and stop his opponent as inevitable.
But on this night, Beterbiev was faced with the same unforeseen circumstances as the promotion did, with an incision in the middle of his forehead, the depth of a large coin leaking blood into his eyes and on his face. face after a clash of heads in the fourth round. An appointment with the doctor who placed the ring reminded him that he would be done “one more round.” Unfortunately for Beterbiev, he was behind on the scoreboard after four rounds, and the same was true after round five.
Unfortunately for Browne, the realization that the loss of a technical decision loomed (Beterbiev couldn’t know for sure, of course since open scoring had no effect) merely accelerated the inevitable. remove and accelerate the methodical process of Beterbiev.
When Beterbiev raised his output and began to trouble Browne with frequency, he was able to convince the doctors that while his wounds were colorful, it didn’t stop him. victory in the war. Meanwhile, his corner, even without expert tailor Russ Anber, can obscure his crimson mask from the doctors’ view with a towel as quickly as possible at the end of each and also handle it to the extent that it does not appear medically hazardous.
Beterbiev said at the press conference after the battle, pointing the left hand with the left eye of the battle was very difficult. “Because he’s a southern man, his front hand, you can’t see it. I think I’ve lost a liter (of blood). Anyone want to give me blood?”
The war’s shifting geography makes Beterbiev’s visual circumstances a little easier to navigate. Browne, who boxed well and was able to use his mobility and length in the early stages of the skirmish, found himself up against the ropes with great frequency. It would be unfair to both Browne and Beterbiev to suggest that his diminishing mobility was a tactical choice he made. Instead, decisions were made for him by aggressive opponents and increasingly vulnerable bodies. Browne didn’t choose to stop moving and boxing. He took his space and energy away by one of the best pressure fighters and the most elite boxers of boxing in general.
With Browne square and upright on the rope, Beterbiev has a more stationary target and opponents can’t make it difficult for him with a stab he can barely see through the red liquid. In the seventh round, the meek Browne offered a left arm to try to keep Beterbiev away as he retreated to the ropes, but Beterbiev discovered it despite his weakness and nailed him with A left hook to his body causes him to fall for the first time in a match.
By this point, Betterbiev had taken the lead, and things were once again really inevitable. In round 9, Browne found himself in the same position, just on the other side of the ring, and was hit with a brutal left hook to the body, left hook to the head combined. When referee Michael Griffin, who had the red shirt, counted to ten, Browne was unable to stand again.
Betterbiev doesn’t fit into any other casual game with a gladiator “type”. He’s a pressure fighter, but not a super high punch output pressure boxer like many, or a spongy defender like the others. He’s a destructive puncher, but not the nimble one-shot artist we often imagine big boxers to. He is also sometimes described as crude, but in reality he is quite calculated and nuanced. Beterbiev’s pressure was constant and draining both physically and mentally. The threat of his strength, effective whether it lands clean or even in the scoring area, and his ability to avoid a fair amount of what is coming his way, makes it difficult for him to keep within range.
Once he got inside, his crushing power as a man naturally weighed over 200 pounds and his ability to access short shots from interesting angles with an effect the average person only can create from long range combined to create a burden too great.
Even potential future competitors seem to know this. In 2019, Dmitry Bivol spoke to reporters in the media center in front of Canelo Alvarez-Sergey Kovalev, weeks after Beterbiev won the legal lightweight crown from Oleksandr Gvozdyk. In assessing the fight, he said he wasn’t surprised by the outcome because Gvozdyk liked fighting inside, because, “If you’re fighting Beterbiev (on the inside), you have almost no chance festival”.
Boxing is often likened to a game of chess, a battle of tactical choices, navigation and moves with victory as its zodiac sign. But there is a difference between the world’s best classical chess player, Magnus Carlsen, and the world’s best speed chess player, Hikaru Nakamura. Likewise, Betterbiev will not be a classic chess player, where players have plenty of time to consider each move and at the highest levels, doomed to lose after just one mistake. Browne would be much closer to a classic chess player, a fighter vulnerable to high-string action with great skill, who always tries to be completely unscathed to win. Betterbiev’s game is speed chess, where mistakes can be made, but time and pressure can ultimately lead players to make a fatal mistake they should have had the time and confidence to avoid.
Beterbiev doesn’t always make the perfect move, but he gives them confidence and forces them to resign or re-examine simply inevitably happen.
Corey Erdman is a boxing writer and commentator based in Toronto, ON, Canada. Follow him on Twitter @corey_erdman
https://www.boxingscene.com/artur-beterbiev-marches-forward-tough-win-montreal–162923 Artur Betterbiev Marches moves on after tough win in Montreal