Tim Bradley liked what he saw of Artur Beterbiev last Saturday night with his eighth round destruction of a solid fighter in Anthony Yarde in London.
Bradley felt that the way that IBF, WBC & WBO light heavyweight champion Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs) was like “quicksand” for Yarde, as the more he fought back, the further he was being pulled down.
The mistake Yarde made was choosing to resist by trying to fight back, which is what Beterbiev wanted & needed for him to land his thudding, heavy blows one after another.
Judges had Yarde ahead
Yarde had moments in each round, but they were fleeting. The only round where you could say Yarde fought well enough to win conclusively was the sixth, and that was one in which Beterbiev did very little, appearing to rest.
The judges seemed to be influenced by the cheering from the pro-Yarde crowd because if you watched the fight with the sounds off, Beterbiev should have been ahead 6-1 after seven rounds. Again, Yarde only fought well enough to win the sixth, and for the rest of the rounds, he was getting outworked, out-punched, and out-smarted by the more experienced Beterbiev.
68-65 – Yarde
67-66 – Yarde
67-66 – Beterbiev
Beterbiev like quicksand
“When I look at Beterbiev, I think of quicksand. You might be boxing, but eventually, he’ll get to you and start slowing you down, and you start fighting his fight,” said Tim Bradley to ESPN+. “The more you fight, it’s like quicksand. The more you fight it, you’re going down, and that’s exactly what happened during this fight.
“Yarde fought a courageous fight. He started off boxing, boxing well from the outside. I would say he won a couple of these early rounds, definitely.
“The more he stood there, gambled & took chances, he faded, and he faded drastically, and that’s why Beterbiev was able to land and put together those combinations to end this fight,” said Bradley about the mistakes Yarde made by getting drawn into a shootout with Beterbiev.
“The pressure that Yarde faced in this fight in the ring was the fact that with one mistake, the fight could end the way it did,” said Andre Ward. “I think, in reality, that could have swung the other way as well, but I’m not sure Beterbiev felt the same way about his power as Yarde felt about his.
“That type of anxiety & pressure was always imminent for Yarde, ‘Where if I make one mistake, my lights can get turned out, and you’ve got to fight and take pressure under that kind of pressure, try and push that out of your mind and go try and win the fight. It’s a lot of pressure while you’re in there.
“I respect what I saw from Anthony Yarde tonight,” said Ward.
“Yes, I want to see him,” said Bradley.
“He took the fight, and that’s the era we’re in now where we’re praising guys stepping up and facing things and taking on dangerous match-ups, but he took that,” said Ward of Yarde. “He took that, and it was very dangerous and maybe unwise to go into Kovalev’s backyard [of Russia].
“I’m not sure if he had a choice. It was probably, ‘Take this fight under these terms or else.’ He took it, and I respect that. He took a lot of shots tonight, and I didn’t see. A fighter will get a look on their face when they’re shocked. You saw it with Joe Smith. ‘The power is real. Everything I heard is real,’ and they start to change their colors.
“Yarde didn’t change his colors. He could have done a little bit more of this and less of that, but his temperament was the same,” said Ward. “I respect that of him. He’s a fighter’s fighter, and I hope he can recover from that,” said Ward.
“Beterbiev said, ‘I was expecting everything he threw, so I knew what I was up against,’ I get the sense that there’s nothing you can do to prepare you for that thudding power that Artur Beterbiev brings into the ring.
“You can take it or you can’t, and that’s what we saw in Artur Beterbiev and why he was able to come away with the victory over Anthony Yarde,” said Bernardo Osuna.