Light heavyweight contender Adam Deines will make a bold attempt to unseat IBF and WBC 175-pound titleholder Artur Beterbiev at the Khodynka Ice Palace, Moscow, Russia, on Saturday.
The ESPN broadcast will begin at 3:00 p.m. ET/ 12:00 p.m. PT.
The fight had originally been scheduled to take place on September 25, then moved to October 9, before being pushed back yet again, to October 23. However, that, too, was postponed when Beterbiev broke a rib. The oft-postponed bout landed on January 30, only for Beterbiev (15-0, 15 knockouts) to test positive for COVID-19.
Deines (19-1-1, 10 KOs) is pleased his world title shot has finally arrived.
“This fight with Beterbiev is the great opportunity,” Deines told The Ring through Christof Hawercamp of SES Boxing. “I have been working towards it for so long. Now, due to the repeated postponements, I’ve had to wait so long and need to motivate myself again and again in all my training phases.”
The Russian-born challenger moved to Germany in 1999 and will be returning to the country of his birth for the first time in over 20 years.
The 30-year-old southpaw, who is listed as a 12/1 underdog, appreciates the magnitude of the task in front of him, but remains calm and hopeful of springing a surprise.
“It’s the biggest challenge in my boxing life,” admitted Deines. “I feel very fit, well prepared and I’m very optimistic in my first chance to grab a world title belt. Even if it will be very difficult, I will invest everything and reward myself for all the many years of hard training.
“Beterbiev is a strong and tough guy with a 100-percent KO record, the only world champion with such a record. But he’s also only a human being—with weaknesses.
“Maybe this long gap since his (last) boxing performance is more like poison for him as a boxer in (his) mid-30s. We’ll see. I’m flying to Russia and I’m going to win the world championship for SES Boxing, Germany and my family.”
Deines has trained at the SES gym in Magdeburg, in central Germany, under the watchful eye of long-time coach Dirk Dzemski and will also have former WBO super middleweight titlist Robert Stieglitz in his corner.
Deines feels that will help spur him on for the upset.
“My coach and I have analyzed all of Beterbiev’s fights and we know him well,” he said. “I’m known for my hard left, but in the last two years, I became more flexible, (varying) my style with more special boxing skills.”
SES founder Ulf Steinforth is proud to have led his charge to the world title.
“Adam has had to wait so long over the past few months and is the underdog,” Steinforth said. “But there is always an opportunity and you have to go in a fight like this with 110 percent engagement. There have already been so many surprises in boxing and I trust our Adam to do exactly the same.”
Beterbiev is a former amateur standout and has moved quickly as a professional. The 36-year-old won the IBF light heavyweight title, stopping Enrico Koelling (KO 12) and defended against Callum Johnson (KO 4) and Radivoje Kalajdzic (KO 5). His breakout win came against Oleksandr Gvozdyk (TKO 10) in a unification bout that saw Beterbiev annex the WBC title in October 2019.
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