Promoter Frank Warren believes his fighter Anthony Yarde has got the power to do a number on Artur Beterbiev to rip away his three light heavyweight titles on Saturday night at the OVO Arena in London, England. Yarde (23-2, 22 KOs) and IBF, WBC & WBO 175-lb champion will go at it live on ESPN+ in their headliner, with a start time at 3:30 ET this Saturday, January 28th.
If Yarde fails to do the job this time, it’s going to be a long haul before he gets another opportunity. It already took the 31-year-old Yarde four years to get to this point after losing to former WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev in August 2019.
WHEN IS BETERBIEV VS. YARDE?
- Date: Saturday, January 28 2023
- Main card: 7 p.m. GMT / 2 p.m. ET
- Main event ringwalks (approx): 10 p.m. GMT / 5 p.m. ET
- The fight will be streamed live on ESPN+ in the U.S., while UK fans can watch the fight on BT Sport.
- The fight will take place at the OVO Arena Wembley in London
- The main card is set to get underway at 7 p.m. GMT / 2 p.m. ET with the main event ringwalks scheduled for 10 p.m. GMT / 5 p.m. ET.
Beterbiev (18-0, 18 KOs) has the firepower, experience & technical ability to make this an easy fight. What we don’t know is how much of a factor the large pro-Yarde crowd will be for this encounter because they’re going to be cheering for every punch Yarde throws.
Beterbiev has a way of chopping down good fighters, making them look like they don’t belong in the same ring with him. Will this be the case with Yarde as well?
Has Yarde improved enough to win?
“I’m not underestimating a guy with the only perfect record with 18 fights and 18 KOs, and that tells you a lot about him. But if anybody can do it, it will be Anthony,” said promoter Frank Warren to Secondsout about his belief that Anthony Yarde can defeat IBF, WBC & WBO Light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev on Saturday.
“He has the power to do it, and his mindset is really, really good at the moment. In the fight with Kovalev, in all three judges’ cards, he [Yarde] was in front. If he had just carried on what he was doing, he would have won the fight.
“What do I think is different? If feel if he catches him, Beterbiev, I think he’s going to be in for a shock. I saw what happened when Callum Johnson clipped him, and he went over, and obviously, he came back like a true champion,” said Warren about Beterbiev’s fourth round knockout win over Callum Johnson in 2018 in Chicago.
“Anthony is a really good finisher, and I know he’s an underdog; the oddsmakers have made him the underdog. It’s not like we haven’t been there before with guys that were underdogs, and I genuinely think he’s got a great chance.
Beterbiev entering the lions den
“What is he, 38 years of age? All those things and home advantage. I’m just hoping it all stacks up for him.
“I would be very, very delighted, and delighted for him and his team, Tunde, James, and all of them,” Warren said when asked what it would mean to him if Yarde were to defeat Beterbiev.
“I’d be delighted for them because he’s a lovely guy. He’s come through a lot of adversity to get to where he’s at, and he believes in himself. He’s a natural athlete and a rugby player. One thing for sure, the biggest cheer you’ll on the night will be from me because I’ll be over the moon for him.
“I think it’s going to be an excellent fight. That was a good experience,” said Warren about Yarde traveling to Chelyabinsk, Russia in August 2019 to challenge WBO 175-lb champion Sergey Kovalev.
“The only reason we went there when the opportunity arose was because I really did feel he could win the fight, and he should have won the fight. The tactics just weren’t right. He was five or ten seconds away from knocking him over. He was just about gone, but he punched himself out,” Warren said about Yarde, who was knocked out by a jab from Kovalev in the 11th round.
“So maybe that was the lack of experience, but that’s now past and he showed that he’s at that level, and he showed that he can give a guy that is similar to Beterbiev, who has an excellent amateur record from that part of the world, Eastern Europe, he showed how tough he is.
“I think he’s a much more mature now and a better fighter now,” Warren said about Yarde as a result of that fight, and this could be his time. He’s got the power to do it. He’s a better boxer than people give him credit for, despite his lack of amateur experience, he’s got a very good jab, and he’s got speed,” said Warren.