Beterbiev extends 100 percent KO record to retain light-heavy belts
Beterbiev extends 100 percent KO record to retain light-heavy belts

The 36-year-old Russian delivered the final blow in the ninth round in Montreal and remains the only current champion with a 100 percent KO ratio

Artur Beterbiev battled through a deep cut to his forehead from a clash of heads to knock out Marcus Browne and retain his WBC and IBF belts in a light-heavyweight championship fight on Friday.

The 36-year-old Russian delivered the final blow in the ninth round in Montreal and remains the only current champion with a 100 percent knockout ratio. He improved to 17-0 with 17 KOs.

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Beterbiev hammered the American down twice, ending the fight at 46 seconds of the round with a left hook to the head as a defenceless Browne was covering up in the corner.

“This is another experience in my career,” said Beterbiev, who trains out of Montreal.

“I have (a cut) but it is boxing you know.”

Both fighters were bloodied when they butted heads in the fourth round but Beterbiev got the worst of it. It left him with blood pouring from a three-inch (8 cm) vertical gash on his forehead.

The cut was so deep that his corner was unable to stop the blood flow between rounds, which meant Beterbiev’s vision and breathing were affected from the middle of the fourth round on.

Despite this he was still able to dominate Browne for the majority of the fight.

The ring doctor inspected Beterbiev’s forehead between the fourth and fifth rounds and warned him that he would only allow the fight to continue for one more round.

But the fifth round finished and the fight continued, before Beterbiev ended it on his own terms.

Beterbiev also knocked Browne (24-2, 16 KOs) down in the seventh with a vicious body shot but the challenger somehow survived to the bell.

Browne’s only other loss was to Jean Pascal in 2019 and it came by technical decision after another headbutt, in round eight, ended that fight prematurely.

Beterbiev hopes this win will lead to more unification fights, with either Dmitry Bivol or Joe Smith Jr. in 2022.

“I want to fight the best. We are ready for any fight,” he said.

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