Saturday at the Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, light heavyweight Artur Beterbiev (7-0, 7 KO’s) and Gabriel Campillo (25-6-1, 12 KO’s) face off in a scheduled 12 round contest in the main supporting bout to Adonis Stevenson’s light heavyweight title defense against Sakio Bika. Both contests will be shown on CBS in the latest installment of Premier Boxing Champions.
The background on Beterbiev is pretty straight forward; a world amateur champion out of Khasavyurt, Russia, now residing in Montreal, Quebec, is one of the hottest rising prospects in the light heavyweight division who’s been in recent negotiations with powerhouse manager Al Haymon.
The aggressive power puncher has stopped all seven of his professional opponents, his bouts averaging just two round a piece. He staked his claim in the division last September, battering former world champion Tavoris Cloud, scoring three knockdowns in the opening frame before putting him away for good in the opening of the second round (the bout earned a spot on Ted Sares “Ring Muggings” series). The win earned him the vacant WBA-NABA light heavyweight title; he added the vacant WBO NABO and IBF North American titles when he stopped then undefeated Jeff Page Jr. in his next bout. Working behind a solid jab, he carries power in both hands and has the ability to drop his opponent with any shot he lands whether it’s a straight right or a body shot.
Having faced little adversity thus far, the obvious question is how he’ll fare against a more durable opponent that can take him a few rounds. That may be the case with Gabriel Campillo, as Beterbiev acknowledged in an interview with The Boxing Voice, stating , “I have a lot of respect for Campillo because he’s very experienced, for sure he has more experience than I do. He has experience winning and losing, and he’s a solid opponent”.
In Campillo, Beterbiev is facing an experienced veteran and a former WBA world light heavyweight champion. In years past, he’s held his own against world class opposition and has been the victim of some questionable scoring as was the case with his 12 round draw with Karo Murat in 2011 and his split decision loss to Tavoris Cloud the following year. Against Cloud, he was down twice in the opening frame but many felt that he had boxed well enough over the following 11 rounds to pull off the win.
More recently, Campillo’s losses haven’t been as questionable. He was stopped by both Sergey Kovalev and Andrzej Fonfara within the last two years, accounting for two of his three stoppage losses. He has managed to rebound though, and comes in to this bout with three wins inside the distance, including an upset over then undefeated Thomas Williams Jr. that earned him the WBO-NABO light heavyweight title.
The winner of this contest could be in line to face the winner of the night’s main event. Beterbiev has no qualms about facing Stevenson or Sergey Kovalev who he’s beaten twice in the amateur ranks and looks forward to facing as a pro, if that fight can be made. In the case of Saturday’s bout, it should be entertaining as long as it lasts.