Beterbiev vs Kalajdzic, IBF light heavyweight title Radivoje Kalajdzic will challenge Artur Beterbiev for the IBF light heavyweight title on Saturday night, live on ESPN from Stockton, California, and the 27-year-old challenger says he’s fully prepared to cash in on his opportunity, feeling that Beterbiev is a fighter he can exploit.
Artur Beterbiev vs Radivoje Kalajdzic
IBF light heavyweight title
Place: Stockton Arena,California
Time: 6:30 pm ET
Beterbiev vs Kalajdzic Live Stream
(13-0, 13 KO) Beterbiev will be defending the IBF title against Kalajdzic (24-1, 17 KO) in the 12-round fight. Beterbiev is also looking to protect his unbeaten pro record, of course, and the winner is potentially in the mix for a big unification fight at some point with either WBO titleholder Sergey Kovalev or WBC titleholder Oleksandr Gvozdyk.
How do the fighters match up?
Kalajdzic has some physical advantages here. He’s 6’2” with a 78-inch reach, compared to the more compact Beterbiev at 5’11½” with a 73-inch reach. It’s obvious that Kalajdzic would want to use his length and try to keep the powerful Beterbiev at bay; Kalajdzic can punch, too, but he probably doesn’t want to get into the phone booth with Beterbiev. But then I doubt anyone really wants to do that.
This has potential to be a really interesting fight in many ways. Beterbiev is in his mid-30s now, he’s not getting any younger, and he found himself in a real shootout with Callum Johnson last time out. We’re also dealing with two fighters who have both had just two fights since 2016, for various reasons.
Who’s the favorite?
This is an odd matchup in these terms. By the books, Beterbiev is a heavy favorite, listed between -1000 and -2500, which leads you to think it’s a total mismatch. But it really, truly might not be.
You can see how the odds got there, though. Kalajdzic (around +700 generally), as we said, has just the one fight from three years ago to really judge him off of, while Beterbiev has the much better résumé. Maybe it will be a blowout, Beterbiev certainly has the skills and power to make it one. Or maybe Kalajdzic is really as good as some people believe him to be, a quiet contender whose proven record is that of an also-ran.