In one of his toughest title defenses to date, Artur Beterbiev battled back and did not let a nasty cut get in the way of preserving his knockout streak against Marcus Browne.
Inside the Bell Centre in Montreal, Beterbiev knocked out Marcus Browne to retain his WBC and IBF Light-Heavyweight Titles. He had to overcome a huge cut on his forehead, as well as a game Browne. The win in the ninth secured Beterbiev's streak of all of his fights ending via some form of knockout.
Beterbiev was the aggressor to start the bout fight away. Browne would utilize jabs to find some space, however. While he didn't display the same striking onslaught we are used to in the early rounds, Beterbiev still had quick hands. Browne would then land multiple combinations to start round two, staying busy with jabs and body shots. He continued to do the same in the third, this time landing inside body shots as Beterbiev tried his best to block.
A clash of heads in round four made things interesting, as Beterbiev was bleeding by his forehead. Browne was bleeding by his right eye, but it was not as problematic as Beterbiev's injury. Beterbiev was angry after, as he landed vicious body shots. He put Browne into the corner, a major theme of the later rounds.
Beterbiev's cut was getting bad fast, and the doctor at ringside warned that there would only be one more round of the fight if he saw fit. The champion saw that as a challenge and would pummel Browne by the ropes. The fight would continue, and in round six Beterbiev landed big left hooks. Blood was all over the place thanks to both fighters, and Beterbiev landed a right hand by the ropes to force Browne to lose more.
In the seventh, Beterbiev tried to break the defense of Browne by throwing hooks and uppercuts. He was finally feeling like his dominant self, with plenty of time remaining. Browne tried his best to stay in the center of the ring and avoid the corners, but Beterbiev was not having it. Beterbiev continued to punish Browne with jabs, combination body shots, and overhands.
Round nine was the moment Beterbiev knew he could not be stopped. He landed a body and face shot that pushed Browne back and down. Browne got back up but not for long, as Beterbiev landed combination shots and an uppercut that put Browne down for good.
According to CompuBox, Beterbiev landed 117 punches compared to Browne's 64. 95 of his strikes were power punches, and he landed 36 in round seven. Browne would land four in that round and was only in the single digits when it came to his shots six times.
Browne is now 2-2 in his last four fights, while Beterbiev won his second fight of 2021. Canelo Alvarez has expressed an interest in facing the champion sometime in 2022.