Artur Beterbiev scored his 14th knockout on Saturday (Photo: Mikey Williams – Top Rank)
By Chris Robinson
On Saturday night, we witnessed the return of IBF light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev, who stopped hard-hitting contender Radivoje “Hot Rod” Kalajdzic in the fifth round in front of 10,105 spectators at Stockton Arena. With the victory, Beterbiev (14-0, 14 KO’s) defended his title for a second time and is now eyeing unification matches.
“I worked very hard for this fight,” Beterbiev stated. “I went 100 percent in the gym. Maybe one day I’ll show my boxing skills. I want unification fights. It doesn’t matter who it is. I am happy to be working with Top Rank and ESPN.”
Kalajdzic (24-2, 17 KOs) was game, but he was dropped at the end of the third round and couldn’t withstand the power coming his way two rounds later. Beterbiev pinned Kalajdzic to the ropes in that round, hammering his foe to the body and head, with referee Dan Stell calling a halt to the match.
With Beterbiev being promoted by Top Rank, he will likely be looking at fights with WBO champion Sergey Kovalev and WBC champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk next.
Chris Robinson can be reached at CRobinson@hustleboss.com