Artur Beterbiev won’t be laid up for too long, it appears, even if it means his next fight will be postponed into the new year.
In a recent BoxingScene.com report, it was noted that the Montreal-based Russian native and unified light heavyweight champion (WBC, WBO, IBF) would not be fighting mandatory challenger Anthony Yarde of England in October at the O2 Arena in London as originally planned because of a previously undisclosed injury. That fight now may not take place until early 2023. Beterbiev had a previous fight—against Adam Deines in 2020—postponed because of a rib injury, but it does not appear that his latest wound will keep him out of the ring for too long.
Marc Ramsay, the trainer of Beterbiev, indicated recently that the injury itself is not serious, saying that his charge underwent a minor right knee operation shortly after his last fight, a second-round demolition job of Joe Smith Jr. at the Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden in June.
“It wasn’t even arthroscopic surgery, it was just to clean out the interior (of his knee),” Ramsay told Le Journal de Montreal last week. “Some of the tissue had deteriorated over time. It was really a minor thing. After the operation, he took two weeks off and he has already returned to training.”
Ramsay told Le Journal that he is waiting on a new fight date from Top Rank, the Las Vegas-based company that promotes Beterbiev. Ramsay pushed back against the idea that Beterbiev would not be able to fight until next year. Ramsay is hopeful that Beterbiev can fight Yarde, his WBO mandatory, in November or December. Yarde is promoted by Frank Warren of Queensberry Promotions.
“Artur has already returned to the gym,” Ramsay said. “I saw what had been written in the American media. They seemed to have exaggerated a bit … He can easily fight in November or December.”
“Reading all that, they make it seem like this is a Carey Price situation,” Ramsey joked, referring to the potentially season-ending knee injury to the goaltender for the Montreal Canadiens hockey team.
Ramsay pointed out that the surgery was successful and that Beterbiev did not experience any pain. Ramsay says he is pleased with Beterbiev’s current progress.
“It went relatively well,” Ramsay said of the operation. “As a trainer, it was I who pushed the date back to be sure. We started out (training) gradually in the last several weeks. He started lifting and then went into basic boxing exercises. When we go into the intensive zone, we will see what he looks like. For the time being, we are optimistic.”