Powerful and still a bit crude Artur Beterbiev hit the deck in round one, and then woke up to punish Jeff Page in the TV opener on Showtime Friday night, which unfolded in Montreal.
2:21 was the ending time, as Beterbiev scored three knockdowns in round two on Page, who came in brave, and left groggy.
Page (age 29; 15-0 entering; trained a month at Abel Sanchez’ gym) was 174 1/2, while the Russian-born B (6-0 entering; coming off win over ex champ Tavoris Cloud) was 174 1/4.
In the first, Page slid left and right, respected the power. Page threw a couple left hooks, and was the busier man, and didn’t look put off by the rep. He threw right which sent B to the mat at the end of the round.
In the second, down went Page. A clubbing right did it. Then, another knockdown. A snap lead right was the nasty one. And a third one spelled the end for Page. A leaping left hook, without full leverage, was the coup de grace.
Jim Gray asked him if he was ready for Sergey Kovalev, who he beat as an amateur, and the winner said he wasn’t sure about that for right now, but noted he does have that amateur win.
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