ARTUR BETERBIEV scored a frightening two-round demolition of former IBF light-heavyweight champion Tavoris Cloud at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
The Russian, now based in Canada, came into the bout with a lofty reputation but he had never faced anyone like Cloud in his burgeoning career. What followed was an astonishing beatdown as the American barely made it out of the opening round, decked three times with cuffing thumps.
The end came early in the second session as Beterbiev – putting thunder behind each blast – walked straight into range and hammered Cloud with violent hooks. The former champion’s head rocked back, before he collapsed and took the full count. Cloud’s career at the top level is unquestionably over.
Once a fearsome predator himself, Cloud started with purpose but he looked a beaten man as soon as his rival connected. Beterbiev, 29 and competing in just his sixth professional outing, puts his punches together exceptionally well and big things are expected, with good reason. The fearless assassin has the look of a future champion.
With two amateur wins over countryman Sergey Kovalev, the WBO king, Beterbiev is suddenly hot property in the light-heavyweight division that also boasts hard-punching WBC champion, Adonis Stevenson.
Kovalev takes on ageless WBA and IBF leader Bernard Hopkins on November 8, and expect Beterbiev to be knocking on the winner’s door before the year is out.