The contract isn’t signed yet, but unbeaten #2 IBF Artur Beterbiev (19-0, 8 KOs) will be putting his unbeaten record on the line next month in an IBF light heavyweight eliminator bout against #14 IBF fringe contender Karo Murat (27-2-1, 17 KOs) on the undercard of the James DeGale vs. Lucian Bute fight at the Centre Videotron, in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.
Murat accepted the offer to fight the 30-year-old Beterbiev, and now the deal has to be done by October 22nd this month in order to avoid a purse bid. The IBF 175lb eliminator is for the right to face IBF champion Sergey Kovalev. That’s where the real tough part comes in because Kovalev has huge power in each fist, and he’s going to be more than a handful for the winner of the Beterbiev-Murat fight.
Beterbiev is arguably getting one of the softest of the IBF’s top 15 contenders in my view, because the fighters ranked above Murat are much better fighters on paper. #11 IBF Yuniesky Gonzalez supposedly refused the fight, which is hard to believe given how tough the Cuban fighter is. Gonzalez recently fought Jean Pascal in a war last July and appeared to get the better of him.
#8 IBF Sullivan Barrera couldn’t take the fight because of visa problems.
Murat has been whipped a couple of times in the past in losses to Bernard Hopkins and Nathan Cleverly. Murat has never really beaten anyone good in his career, so he’s kind of a poor choice for this fight.