Challenger Anthony Yarde will be attempting to unseat IBF, WBC & WBO light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev next Saturday night in front of his fans at the OVO Arena in London, England. The Beterbiev-Yarde fight event will be shown in the U.S. on ESPN+.
If Yarde can end Beterbiev’s championship reign, it could create endless possibilities, starting with an undisputed championship match against WBA 175–lb champion Dmitry Bivol and then maybe even Canelo Alvarez.
Yarde (23-2, 22 KOs) has been waiting patiently for his second chance after losing to WBO 175-lb champion Sergey Kovalev in 2019.
The moment was too much for Yarde at the time, as he was impatient to knock out the more experienced Kovalev after hurting him in the eighth round.
Three rounds later, Yarde was knocked out in the eleventh round after getting hit with a hard jab.
“I’m looking at another human being. I’m looking at a human being, and there’s no difference. He’s accomplished things that I want to accomplish,” said Anthony Yarde to BT Sport Boxing about his fight with IBF, WBC & WBO light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev.
“He’s had 18 fights and 18 knockouts,” Yarde said about Beterbiev. “What are you going to complain about his record? People that have had names, he’s done a good job on them. So why am I going to dump on that?
“When I beat a fighter like Beterbiev, it just heightens me. It’s going to bring the best out of me. There’s nobody going out to Russia to fight Kovalev. I don’t care what nobody says. Yeah, everybody can say they would have done it, but no one would do it, especially a prospect.
One. More. Week.
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) January 21, 2023
“I’ve got heart. I want to go out there and take something away, and that’s what I tried to do with Kovalev, and that’s what I’m going to do this time. I learned something from the Kovalev fight. I almost got him out of there.
“The one mistake I made is I lacked composure when I did hurt him. I said I was going to hurt him at some point, and when I did hurt him, my composure went out the window. I got excited.
“This time, I think it’s going to be a very similar thing, but this time, I’ve got the composure. Kovalev was a lot more cautious. Beterbiev, I don’t think he’s as cautious. I feel like he’s very confident in his wrecking ability, and I think that’s why he’s been tagged a few times and hurt.
“He hasn’t been hurt by me yet. So when I do hurt him, I’m the kind of person that’s going to finish the job. There has been respect between me and Beterbiev because I feel like we both know what each other is capable of. That’s what makes it exciting. The explosion.
“I’m not going to go out there and expect anything of him. I’m going to expect him to do everything. I’m going to expect him to come forward. I’m going to expect him to box. I’m going to expect him to try and counter-punch.
“I’m going to expect everything and give him something that’s unexpected. The way I’d like the fight to go is I walk out, throw a right hand and knock him out in the first second of the fight. That’s the perfect fight.
“The way Russians box, they’re very similar. They have different styles, but they’re very similar. Their power punch is their jab. The majority of them. The Ukrainians, the Russians, they got a school of boxing. I’m the kind of person that I watch a lot of boxing, and you pick up little habits.
“He has a good jab, but I’ve got a good jab as well. I think the speed, power, and the unexpected,” said Yarde when asked what is going to give him the advantage against Beterbiev.
“I feel like with Beterbiev, we’ve seen a lot about what he has to offer, and I’ve been saying this. I keep getting better. I’ve shown that I have different attributes to me. Even in the second Lyndon Arthur fight, I don’t think anybody expected me to fight like that.
“When everything is put in the right order, I feel like you’re going to see the best version of me,” said Yarde.