Artur Beterbiev vs Radivoje Kalajdzic Preview May 4th
Unbeaten IBF Light Heavyweight Champion Artur Beterbiev of Russia meets Radivoje Kalajdzic of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the Stockton Arena in Stockton, California this Saturday, May 4th. The 12-round bout can be seen in the USA on ESPN and ESPN Deportes. Fans in the UK can see it on BoxNation and those in Canada can catch it on TSN 2. Beterbiev won the vacant title his last time out with a 12th-round stoppage of Enrico Koelling in November of 2017 and stopped Callum Johnson in the fourth round last October in his most recent outing. Kalajdzic last fought in in October as well when he stopped Alex Theran in the first round.
Beterbiev vs Kalajdzic Betting Odds
- Radivoje Kalajdzic +600
- Artur Beterbiev -1000
The 34-year-old Beterbiev is a former world amateur champion and Olympian who turned pro in 2013 and has boxed just 47 rounds since. The reason for this is because he’s knocked out all of his opponents while compiling a perfect record of 13-0 with 13 Kos. This of course means his knockout ratio currently stands at 100 per cent, but he’s disappointed many fans and critics by shying away from the big guns of the light heavyweight division. His biggest wins so far have been knockouts over Johnson and former world champions Gabriel Campillo in 2015 and Tavoris Cloud a year earlier.
He’s not really taking a step forward this weekend either by taking on Kalajdzic. Size-wise, Beterbiev isn’t the biggest light heavyweight around as he’s just under 6-feet tall with a reach of 73.5 inches. He obviously has fine boxing skills that were utilized during his amateur career but since turning pro he hasn’t really had the chance to use them. He’s been on a seek and destroy mission over the past few years and has been very successful at it. And to help matters out, he also appears to have a pretty solid chin.
Beterbiev has been on the canvas before though as Jeff Page Jr. dropped him in the first round with a right hand back in December of 2014. However he got up from the canvas and stopped Page the next round after decking him twice. The knock against Beterbiev is that he doesn’t use his jab enough, lacks hand speed and doesn’t move his head either, which makes him a bit of a sitting duck. But he hasn’t paid for it yet due to his tremendous power.
Kalajdzic is 27 years old and fights out of Saint Petersburg, Florida, but many fans have never really heard of him. He’s got a fine record of 24-1 with 17 Kos and his current 68 per cent knockout ratio shows that he has pretty good power. He stands 6-feet-2-inches tall with a 76-inch reach so has about a two-inch height advantage on Beterbiev as well as a 2.5-inch edge in reach. He turned pro back in 2011 and has boxed just 74 rounds since.
His only loss came to Marcus Browne in 2016 when he dropped an eight-round split decision for the vacant WBC United States Light Heavyweight Title. Kalajdzic was decked in the very first round but returned the favour by flooring Browne in the sixth stanza. The only other recognizable name on his list of opponents is Otis Griffin, who he stopped in the first round in 2013. He also beat Lionell Thompson by eight-round split decision in 2014. Therefore, the only time he stepped up in class he came out on the wrong end of a decision to Browne.
Beterbiev has somewhat limited skills for a former Olympian, but makes up for it in power. He hasn’t been facing the cream of the crop in the 175 lb division and neither has Kalajdzic, so this is fight has gone under the radar especially since Alvarez and Jacobs are battling the same night. That’s not to say it won’t be exciting though. Both guys have pretty heavy fists and the challenger has a puncher’s chance but I’m expecting Beterbiev to retain his title when all is said and done.
Kalajdzic has a puncher’s chance and that’s it.
Play: Beterbiev -1000 @ BetOnline.ag
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