Knockout savant Beterbiev returns June 4 against Maderna on ESPN

If ever there was a boxer who embodied the cliché “some things in life are worth the wait,” it’s Artur Beterbiev.

Artur Beterbiev

Artur Beterbiev connects with a left hook to the head of Alexander Johnson last June. Beterbiev prevailed by seventh-round TKO for his ninth stoppage victory in as many pro fights. (Lucas Noonan/Premier Boxing Champions)

A two-time Russian Olympian who fights out of Montreal, Beterbiev didn’t launch his professional career until June 2013—nearly six months after his 28th birthday. To say Artur Beterbiev has quickly—and impressively—made up for lost time would be an understatement: He’s stopped all nine of his opponents to date to establish himself as a serious 175-pound world title contender.

Beterbiev will look to push both his unbeaten record and knockout streak to double digits on June 4 when he battles veteran Argentine opponent Ezequiel Maderna (23-2, 15 KOs) in a 12-round clash from the Bell Centre in Montreal (ESPN, 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT).

The fight with Maderna will be Beterbiev’s first since having surgery to repair his shoulder. Because of the injury, Beterbiev has been out of the ring for nearly a year, having last fought June 12, when he scored a seventh-round TKO of Alexander Johnson in Chicago.

That's the longest anyone has lasted with Beterbiev, who finished off each of his first eight opponents in less than four rounds.

Maderna, who has never been stopped, figures to offer Beterbiev his toughest test to date. The 2008 Olympian won his first 19 professional fights before dropping a 10-round unanimous decision to then-unbeaten Edwin Rodriguez in March 2013. Six months and two fights later, Maderna suffered his second defeat, this time losing a 12-round majority decision to Thomas Oosthuizen.

Maderna has since rebounded with three consecutive victories, the most recent being a first-round TKO of Rolando Mansilla last May.

Prior to the Beterbiev-Maderna main event, two 147-pound prospects from the United States will put their undefeated records on the line, as southpaw Bryant Perrella (13-0, 12 KOs) of Fort Myers, Florida, tangles with Washington, D.C., resident David Grayton (14-0, 10 KOs) in a scheduled 12-rounder.

Perrella needed just two rounds to dismantle Ramon Ayala in his last fight on January 12. It was his 10th straight stoppage victory, which includes five first-round knockouts and two second-round stoppages.

Grayton has won two of his last three fights inside the distance, including a second-round defeat of Daniel Souza Santos on January 31.

For complete coverage of Beterbiev vs Maderna, visit our fight page.

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