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March 28th: KO King Artur Beterbiev

To Defend Light Heavyweight World Titles

Against Meng Fanlong Live on ESPN!

(February 14th) WBC/IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion Artur Beterbiev, boxing’s reigning knockout king, will look to make it a Sweet 16 north of the border. Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs), the sport’s only current world champion with a 100 percent KO rate, will defend his titles against IBF No. 1 contender Meng Fanlong Saturday, March 28 from Videotron Centre in Quebec City, Canada.

 

The Russian-born Beterbiev has made his home in Montreal for several years and will fight in his adopted home country for the first time as a world champion. This is title defense number four for Beterbiev, who unified titles last October with a sensational knockout victory over Oleksandr “The Nail” Gvozdyk.

 

Beterbiev vs Fanlong and a co-feature will be televised LIVE on ESPN beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. The undercard will stream on ESPN+ starting at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT.

 

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Groupe Yvon Michel, Roc Nation Sports and Gestev, tickets priced ($CA) at $542, $330, $275, $137, $104, $75 and $55 (including fees and taxes) go on sale Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 10 a.m. ET and are available via www.ticketmaster.ca and in person at the Videotron Centre box office.

 

Artur Beterbiev is uniquely motivated to put on a show for his Canadian fans, as he returns to Canada as a unified world champion,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Like Artur, Meng was a tremendous amateur. He’s fought around the world and will not be intimidated as a challenger in foreign territory.”

 

"Team Meng has waited a very long time for his opportunity, and now his time is here,” said Dino Duva of Roc Nation Sports and Meng's promoter. “Artur Beterbiev is one of the best fighters in the world, and that's what will make this fight so special for Fanlong. I sincerely believe Fanlong will win and make history. I cannot wait for March 28 in Quebec City."

 

Beterbiev was a standout Russian amateur who competed for his homeland at the 2012 London and 2008 Beijing Olympics, but he moved to Montreal to begin his professional career. A seven-year pro, Beterbiev fought 10 of his first 11 bouts in the province of Quebec, building a devoted fanbase in his new home. He knocked out Enrico Koelling in 12 rounds to win the IBF light heavyweight world title in November 2017. Two successful title defenses followed before he met WBC world champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk last October. In one of the best fights of the year, Beterbiev stopped Gvozdyk in 10 rounds to unify the belts.

 

“I'm very much looking forward to defending my IBF and WBC titles against mandatory challenger Meng Fanlong on March 28 in beautiful Quebec City,” Beterbiev said. “I'm training hard, improving every day, and I intend to perform at my best in front of my Canadian supporters!”

 

Fanlong (16-0, 10 KOs), from Chifeng, China, was a 2012 Olympian who advanced to the round of 16 before turning pro in January 2015. He is an experienced road warrior, as he traveled to Monaco and knocked out former British light heavyweight champion Frank Buglioni in November 2018. Last June, in a world title eliminator, he survived an eighth-round knockdown to secure a unanimous decision over the then-unbeaten Adam Deines. He stayed busy last October in New Jersey with a second-round stoppage over Gilberto Rubio. Fanlong is aiming to become the first male Chinese boxer above featherweight to capture a world title.

 

“I am truly honored to be fighting Artur Beterbiev for the light heavyweight championship,” Fanlong said. “I have worked hard to earn the mandatory position, and I plan on being the first Chinese light heavyweight champion in history. This is just the beginning.”

 

About Top Rank

Innovation has been the standard at Top Rank since it was established in 1966 by Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum. The boxing industry’s leading promotional company, Top Rank has shaped, developed, and promoted the careers of top international pay-per-view superstars and Hall of Famers, including Muhammad Ali, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Tommy Hearns, George Foreman, Sugar Ray Leonard, Aaron Pryor, Alexis Arguello, Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Miguel Cotto, Erik Morales, Terence Crawford, and Vasiliy Lomachenko.

 

Top Rank has promoted some of the most memorable fights in the sport’s history, including 26 Ali events, Leonard vs. Hearns, Pryor vs. Arguello, Duran vs. Leonard, Hagler vs. Hearns, Leonard vs. Hagler, Foreman vs. Holyfield, Morales vs. Barrera, De La Hoya vs. Trinidad, and the most lucrative fight in boxing history, Mayweather vs. Pacquiao. In addition to the previously mentioned super fights, Top Rank possesses one of the largest sports libraries, which includes nearly 10,000 fights.

 

Known for creating strategic collaborations between athletes, sponsors, and television networks, Top Rank has been an architect of boxing’s global growth by staging high-profile events in landmark settings around the world, including Madison Square Garden, MGM Grand Garden Arena, Staples Center, Wembley Arena, Araneta Coliseum, The Venetian Macao, Yankee Stadium, Radio City Music Hall, The “Fabulous” Forum, and AT&T Stadium. Top Rank has also been the leader within the boxing industry in creating unforgettable in-arena experiences for fans and embracing 21st century technological advancements to distribute world-class fights and shoulder programming across a variety of platforms.

 

About ESPN+

ESPN+ is the multi-sport, direct-to-consumer video service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer and International (DTCI) segment and ESPN. It reached 2 million subscribers in less than a year and offers fans thousands of live events, on-demand content and original programming not available on ESPN’s linear TV or digital networks, along with premium editorial content.

 

Programming on ESPN+ includes hundreds of MLB and NHL games, exclusive UFC, Top Rank boxing and PFL fights and events, top domestic and international soccer (Serie A, MLS, FA Cup, UEFA Nations League, EFL Championship, EFL Carabao Cup, Eredivisie, and more), thousands of college sports events (including football, basketball and other sports), Grand Slam tennis, international and domestic rugby and cricket, new and exclusive series, acclaimed studio shows and the full library of ESPN’s award-winning 30 for 30 films. Fans subscribe to ESPN+ for just $4.99 a month (or $49.99 per year) and can cancel at any time.

 

ESPN+ is available as an integrated part of the ESPN App (on mobile and connected devices) and ESPN.com.

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