The wait is over. WBC and IBF light heavyweight world champion Artur Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs) will fight top contender Adam Deines in a special Russian homecoming Saturday, March 20 at Megasport Arena in Moscow.
Beterbiev represented Russia at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and moved to Montreal to begin his pro career in 2013.
Nearly eight years after turning pro, he will fight in Russia for the first time, and for the first time since unifying world titles in October 2019 with a scintillating 10th-round knockout over Oleksandr Gvozdyk.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Patriot Promotions, Beterbiev-Deines will air live on an ESPN platform, with additional details to follow.
Bob Arum predicts big things ahead of 2021
"At long last, Artur Beterbiev will defend his world titles as he looks to kick off his 2021 campaign in devastating fashion," said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum.
"We have big plans for Artur, but he must first take care of business in Moscow."
Beterbiev said, "I am excited to finally have a date for the fight. Now that COVID-19 and the injury are behind me, I am able to prepare well and put on a great show for boxing fans."
Beterbiev and Deines (19-1-1, 10 KOs), who is ranked No. 6 by the IBF, have been scheduled to fight twice before.
A proposed Oct. 23 date was scuttled after Beterbiev suffered a rib injury in training, and the Jan. 30 makeup date was postponed after Beterbiev tested positive for COVID-19.
Deines, who turns 30 on Feb. 8, has won a pair of bouts via stoppage since the lone loss of his career, a June 2019 unanimous decision to Meng Fanlong in Macau, China.