There do not appear to be any obvious chinks in the armour of the fearsome Artur Beterbiev, there sure weren’t any holes to point at in Beterbiev’s last fight, this Saturday night’s quick destruction of the tough Joe Smith Jr. Beterbiev, 18-0(18) looked every bit a beast and whether they admit it or not, any light-heavyweight out there will know they have a seriously tough task ahead of them if they are to share a ring with the Russian tank and hope to beat him.
The one man most fans feel is best equipped for the mighty task of bringing 37 year old Beterbiev down is his countryman, Dmitry Bivol. Bivol is a superb boxer, as he showed in taking Canelo Alvarez to school. But can he beat Beterbiev? Maybe, maybe not. But one man who is likely to share a ring with Beterbiev next, in the UK in October, is Anthony Yarde. And Yarde says he is confident he can beat Beterbiev. How? With his superior speed, the twice-beaten Londoner said in speaking with Mail Online.
Yarde says Beterbiev is “slow” and he insists he can defeat him by “being a breath of wind he cannot catch.”
“Yes, he is the best light-heavyweight now, but even in this brief fight I saw plenty of ways of beating him,” Yarde said. “I would be more afraid of fighting a master boxer. The man has serious power but he’s not as fast as I expected. This is a challenge I will relish. The key to beating Beterbiev is to be sharper, quicker, more intelligent and we’ll see on fight night.”
We will indeed, likely in October. Yarde, the WBO mandatory, said he thought Beterbiev and Smith Jr “both looked slow” and that speed really will be the key for him when his big chance comes. But this confident talk aside, not too many people see Beterbiev losing any time soon, not to anyone. Aside from maybe Bivol, Beterbiev has his way with any 175 pounder out there.
Yarde may well find out on fight night how timing, the ability to cut off the ring, and absolutely crushing power can overcome speed in a fight. Beterbiev may not be the fastest but he’s destroyed a number of fighters he was slower than. If you are looking for one weakness in Beterbiev, one possible weakness, then his age is against him. Maybe.
At this early stage, some four months ahead of a Beterbiev-Yarde fight, it’s tough to see the fight going past the middle rounds, with Beterbiev picking up yet another KO or stoppage win.