ON the eve of Christmas Eve, fearsome light-heavyweight prospect Artur Beterbiev was in action at the Lac Leamy Casino in Quebec. The Russian, now based in Canada, hammered Isidro Ranoni Prieto to defeat inside the first round.

Prieto jabbed forward enthusiastically to start the contest. Beterbiev hooked his left in lightly. Isidro shaped to throw his right and Beterbiev hammered a monstrous cross straight down the middle, blasting Prieto heavily to the canvas.

Isidro managed to rise, just beating the count. The Russian struck him with a double jab and another right, wobbling Prieto. Isidro waded forward but to no avail. With frightening power, Beterbiev shook up Prieto in close. Letting hooks go he sent Isidro flying. Prieto could not recover and was halted inside the first round.

Beterbiev has a perfect record, 11-0, with all of those victories coming inside the distance. He would be a welcome addition to the top tier of the light-heavyweight division, a worthy opponent for the likes of Sergey Kovalev, Andre Ward, Adonis Stevenson and even the conqueror of Bernard Hopkins, Joe Smith Jr.