After careful consideration, rising Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM) star and double Russian Olympian, Artur Beterbiev, will not take part in the qualifying process to earn a spot to compete in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
An Olympic qualifying tournament for professional boxers will be held July 3-8 in Vargas, Venezuela, following the decision of the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) to include professionals in the Olympic tournament.
However, Beterbiev (10-0, 10 KOs), who made a triumphant return to the ring after a one-year absence on June 4 at the Bell Centre in Montreal against Argentinian Ezequiel Maderna (23-3, 15 KOs), will not be there.
“After analyzing all situations, we came to the conclusion that the current situation was not favorable,” GYM president Yvon Michel explained. “The short-term goal for Artur Beterbiev is to become world champion in the pro ranks. He will be back in the ring in September.”
Currently world ranked in the top 10 of the light heavyweight division — IBF # 2, WBC and WBA #4, WBO #7 and The Ring magazine #9 — Beterbiev has already participated in the Olympics twice: 2008 in Beijing (178 lbs.) and 2012 in London (201 lbs.).
“Regardless of my boxer’s objectives, ” Beterbiev’s head trainer Marc Ramsey said, “I’m behind him 100-percent. However, the main goal remains the conquest of a World title.”