Light heavyweight Beterbiev on fast track

Light heavyweight Artur Beterbiev was a decorated amateur who twice competed on the Russian Olympic team (2008 and 20012), won a gold medal at the 2009 world amateur championships and twice defeated Russian destroyer Sergey "Krusher" Kovalev in the unpaid ranks.

Now living in Laval, Quebec, the 29-year-old Beterbiev (5-0, 5 KOs), who turned pro 14 months ago, is on the super fast track.

After making his pro debut in a four-rounder and then fighting scheduled six-rounders in his next four bouts, Beterbiev is stepping up to a scheduled 12-round fight for a regional title against former world titleholder Tavoris Cloud (24-2, 19 KOs).

Cloud, 32, is still regarded by many as a top-10 light heavyweight despite back-to-back losses, a decision that cost him his title against Bernard Hopkins in March 2013 followed by a seventh-round knockout loss challenging champion Adonis Stevenson in Montreal last September.

Beterbiev, whose wife gave birth to their third child a few weeks ago, will meet Cloud on Sept. 27 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, promoter Yvon Michel announced Wednesday.

Cloud, who may not be what he once was, has vast professional experience, good power and a good chin. But Michel is convinced that Beterbiev is the next big thing. This fight should go a long way to making that determination.

"Artur Beterbiev is an extremely special talent and we have a boundless confidence in his abilities," Michel said. "It is unheard of for a fighter with only five fights of professional experience to headline an event at the Bell Centre against an opponent the caliber of Cloud."