Olympic Stories

Artur Beterbiev - Boxing

Artur Beterbiev - Boxing

Born on January 21, 1985 in Khasavyurt, Dagestan, Russia, Artur Asilbekovich Beterbiev is an amateur Russian boxer who will represent his home nation in the upcoming 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. Described as a very skilled and heavy-handed puncher, Artur is older than a lot of amateurs in the boxing world. But due to the devolution of boxing of late on a world stage, young amateurs aren’t making the leap into the professional ranks as regularly. There’s much more drive to be Olympic winners.

For a 26 year old, Beterbiev has had ample experience in the ring. A former world champion and silver-medal-winning athlete, Artur hopes that this year will be his time to shine on the Olympic podium. His competition will be fierce, but Beterbiev is amongst the favorites to take gold.

Sporting Career

Artur Beterbiev really burst onto the scene in a big way in 2006. A Chechen boxer competing now for Russia, Beterbiev started out as a light heavyweight with true heavyweight punching power. What was most impressive about Artur was that he had incredible boxing smarts to be a relative unknown and lacking in experience. Fighting in Europe, he took the Euro light heavyweight title in 2006, and he would attempt to ride the wave into 2007.

At the 2007 World Amateur Boxing Championships, Artur was actually a heavy favorite over a southpaw out of Uzbek named Abbos Atoev. But as most boxers inevitably find out, especially younger boxers, fighting a southpaw is very unorthodox and dangerous. Artur was upset in the finals by this lesser-known boxer, and this impacted Artur’s confidence in a big way.

Losing out on gold at the World Amateur Boxing Championships, Beterbiev entered the 2008 Olympics in Beijing a little under peak condition according to experts. Although he defeated his opponent handily in the first round, a controversial defeat at the hands of China’s own Zhang Xiaoping knocked Artur out of medal contention.
This time Artur was frustrated and motivated by the loss. He began training feverishly and would continue on the amateur circuit on his quest for gold. A year later, in Milan, Artur would enter the World Amateur Boxing Championships and easily handle his opponents to finally win gold.

Since then, Artur has only had a few minor fights. Most of his time has been spent in preparation for the Olympics. With the professional boxing field weaker, the amateur boxing field is actually much stronger. This means that the Chechen will undoubtedly need to be in the shape of his life if he hopes to claim Olympic Gold in London this summer. So far, he’s at the top of the list in terms of amateur contenders.

Career Highlights

  • 2006 European Light Heavyweight Title
  • 2007 World Amateur Boxing Championships – Silver
  • 2009 World Amateur Boxing Championships – Gold
  • 2011 World Amateur Boxing Championships – Quarter Final
  • 2012 Summer Olympics – Quarter Final

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