The owner of three titles in the light heavyweight division (up to 79.4 kg) Artur Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs) from Canada came to his second homeland, where
answered to questions from the media.
The unified champion commented on the victorious fight against British challenger Anthony Yard (23-3, 22 KOs), objected to the Briton’s comments, answered a question about a possible fight for the title of absolute world champion against Russian Dmitry Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs), said , after what time he will be ready for the fight, and spoke about a possible fight against the former division champion of the Russian Sergey Kovalev (35-4-1, 29 KOs).
– Were you ready to fight the whole battle? Did you physically have enough strength or did you want to finish even earlier?
– The fight turned out, as it turned out already. There were moments that worked and didn’t work. But I felt on my own that I was just waking up, accelerating or something. That is, I increased the pace, as it were. We will also sit down with the team and discuss.
– What are your plans? It is clear that to rest, but we saw the news that you already have an opponent from Britain.
– I do not know. I was on the road. I don’t know. Rest, of course. They gave me a well-deserved rest.
– There was information that you whispered in your ear to Yard that this was the hardest fight in your career.
– It seemed to him. I didn’t say that. I thanked him for giving a good fight. What can I tell him? He gave a good fight, well done.
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– And what is the most difficult fight in your career?
Until he was gone, I think.
– You always say in interviews that you want to become a good boxer. When will you go out in front of a large crowd of journalists and say yes, Artur Beterbiev is a good boxer?
– When I become, then I will tell, probably. I haven’t become [улыбается]. Of course, I believe that having three belts does not mean a good boxer. For example, I think that I need to learn a lot in boxing, improve what, in technique, in physical form. I still have a lot of things to improve.
– 19 fights, 19 knockouts.
– It’s purely lucky for me [улыбается].
We don’t think you’re lucky.
– I think so.
Perhaps you have already heard this information. Said you were the biggest puncher on Earth and said that to Tyson Fury and he said, “What do you mean? What about me?”
I met Tyson Fury back in 2013. We sat like that. Like a simple good guy, it seemed to me then. Now I’ll probably change my mind about him [улыбается]. He can say whatever he wants. Moreover, a heavyweight boxer misses heavy punches.
– If you return to the battle. We all know very well that the Yard, London, the public – how do you feel?
– In London itself, of course, it was interesting, calm. But it was the day of the battle that seemed a little tense. In terms of the fight, I mean with the judges, back and forth.
– Artur, estimate the probability that the duel with Dmitry Bivol will never be held until the end of his career. All the same, different television platforms.
– There are no problems with it. That is, to carry out this fight. If he wants.
– If this fight does not take place, will you yourself be upset by this?
– No. Why should I be upset? I won what I could. What is not destined is not destined, what to do?
– What is your attitude to Dmitry Bivol, purely sports? You were in the national team together, sparred.
“He was young with us. We never have… For you to understand, already in 2012 I competed in 91 kg, and 81 kg guys didn’t spar with me. And he moved to 75 kg or 81. And how can I spar with 75kg or 81kg? He’s a good guy, well done, won the belt. What can I tell him? I have only sports interest. Belt.
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– Bivol said that it makes no sense for you to challenge each other to fight. Do you share his opinion?
I don’t challenge him. I say let’s do this fight and that’s it.
– No point in challenges?
– It makes no sense, of course, if one wants, and the other does not want. He probably knows more than we do.
– And now there is a situation where one wants, and the other does not?
“So that’s how it works, if he says so.”
— Arthur, let’s go back to London. Did you feel the hostility of the Western public towards the Russian?
– To be honest, I didn’t feel it, but the hall buzzed. I thought they were rooting for him. A full hall, after all, probably, they were rooting for him. London is his city. Here in New York, the fight was with Joe Smith. Here, right there, the hall buzzed, straight, obscenely, it seems to me, they responded. It was a little uncomfortable there.
– Arthur, did you review the fight?
– Yes, I did.
– How was it?
– There are things that I felt during the fight that did not work out. And when I looked, I saw it. This kick… I don’t want to say that I’m so cool. I went to this blow, I wanted to bring him to him, and somehow I fired all the same, hit. The whole game that was going on in the ring: that is, he went back, went there, went here – I led him to this.
– You were not surprised that after numerous attacks, Yard stood still, did not fall?
– Not surprised. I didn’t hit him hard.
– And why?
– Well, slowly. Why strongly at once? There, the public came to watch.
– And when do you plan to return to the ring?
We are now in Ramadan. I don’t box in Ramadan, I hardly train. I can’t say right now. Somewhere after Ramadan, 2 months is enough to prepare.
– And if not Bivol, then which of the rivals can you consider? For example, Callum Smith and Joshua Buatsi are highly ranked. Would you like to return to England again?
– To be honest, I would not like to do the next fight in England. Just purely because of the diversity – in a different place.
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“And their names are not interesting?”
“Honestly, I have never seen them, I have not watched them. I’m not that much into it. Not a boxing fan. I box when I sign a contract, I start preparing for an opponent.
– Arthur, are you considering the opportunity to rise to a new weight and fight for the title?
– It would be interesting.
– For the title?
– Of course, for the title.
– And if the option with Sergey Kovalev, close the old story? He is untitled. Is he not interested in you without a title?
“He was never interested in me. I don’t want to say anything bad about Seryoga. I was interested in the title. I have a purely sporting interest.
– Is it important to you whether you are recognized as the best boxer according to some version or not?
“I don’t worry too much about it. The main thing is to win fights, I guess. This is more important.