Is it too simple to think this Saturday that Anthony Yarde basically has a puncher’s chance to knock off Artur Beterbiev? Owner of 3-straps at the light heavyweight division Beterbiev has 18 victories all via stoppage. Oleksandr Gvozdyk gave the Russian native a run for his money back in 2019. A year before that Callum Johnson scored a knockdown but wasn’t able to capitalize on it. So yes indeed Yarde has a chance to pull off what would be a major upset and one can only assume it would be by knockout if it occured.
During fight week Yarde has made it a point he will not be looking for that one big punch and feels the lessons learned from the Sergey Kovalev fight will come in handy if he has Artur hurt. In the Kovalev bout it seemed the success Anthony had came too little too late. That’s not to say Yarde should go into attack mode from round one but he has to let his hands go in the early frames. Yarde has a solid right hand he likes to land to the head and body. He also has a pretty good left hook and has the ability to counter with that punch.
Furthermore Anthony uses upper body and head movement a decent amount but still lacks high level defense. Yarde is definitely wide open for left hands and has a habit of squaring up which is suicidal facing Artur. Poor footwork will likely come back to bite Yarde and to be fair even a guy like Oleksandr Gvozdyk wasn’t able to ultimately slow down the freight train and he a bunch of success. Stating the obvious Yarde is nowhere near Gvozdyk’s level and probably should move sparingly on the outside. If Yarde can work the body, catch Beterbiev will clean hooks and upper cuts all the while moving his upper body we could get a 2-way fight that lasts much longer than most believe.
Artur is underrated as an all-around boxer because we’ve seen him time and time again use brute force to run thru foes. Beterbiev can resort back to the unpaid ranks and use his outside boxing game which he’s shown recently. He doesn’t always use his jab enough but his combination punching is very accurate and fluid. That real deal power combined with efficiency gives him the edge over most if not all 175-pounders on the planet. Once Beterbiev’s motor gets going it is almost impossible to stop and the deeper this fight goes you can bet your bottom dollar we will see Anthony Yarde wear down. It doesn’t help Yarde has a bit of a track record of gassing or at least slowing down hence the need to land flush powerful punches within the first chunk of the fight.
Most fights involving Beterbiev are intense and given the fact that Yarde respectfully is a game fighter look for this one to give us fans watching at home and in Wembley Arena on ESPN+ in the states, a back and forth affair featuring plenty of action.
My Official Prediction is Artur Beterbiev via 8th round stoppage.
Side Note: Don’t you dare sleep on the undercard bout between Artem Dalakian and David Jimenez at the Flyweight division.
Written by Chris Carlson Host/Producer of The Rope A Dope Radio Podcast Available at www.blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio