Errol Spence picks Yarde to defeat Beterbiev: “Father time is undefeated”

01/28/2023 - By Will Arons - Comments

Errol Spence Jr mentioned “Father Time” as why he’s picking Anthony Yarde to defeat IBF, WBC & WBO light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev this Saturday night on ESPN+ at the OVO Arena in London, England.

The undefeated IBF/WBA/WBC welterweight champion Spence feels that it’s “only a matter of time” before the 38-year-old Beterbiev (18-0, 18 KOs) looks his age in a fight, and that’s reason enough for him to pick the younger 31-year-old Yarde (23-2, 22 KOs) to win.

It makes you wonder if Spence has ever taken the time to watch any of Beterbiev or Yarde’s fights on him to be basing his prediction. If Spence is just making his pick after looking at pictures of Yarde and then reading the age of Beterbiev, you can give him a pass.

What Spence says would make sense if Beterbiev were showing signs of age in his recent fights, but that hasn’t happened yet. If anything, Beterbiev is performing at a higher level now than he was a decade ago.

Certainly, Beterbiev’s power, which is his main asset, is just as lethal as always, and that be all he needs to crush the vulnerable chin of Yarde, who was knocked out by a jab from a past his prime Sergey Kovalev in 2019.

Incidentally, that was the only time in Yarde’s 10-year professional career that he fought a true top-ten-level fighter. Yarde’s other best win came against Lyndon Arthur, who is a domestic-level fighter from the UK.

The only notable fighter Lyndon has beaten in his career is Yarde in their first fight in 2020. To his credit, Yarde avenged his loss a year later, stopping Arthur in the fourth round in 2021.

The boxing world is overwhelmingly picking Beterbiev to win, and the reason for that isn’t just because of how great a fighter he is but mostly because of how poor Yarde is. He’s the textbook version of a fighter fed tomato cans to build an inflated record.

Normally, when guys are matched with weak opposition for a long period, it’s being done by their management to put them in a fight that will make a ton of money. With the light heavyweight division lacking a Canelo Alvarez type of mega-star, Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol are the only two money fights available.

“There ain’t nothing else to expect in this fight but a knockout in a dramatic fashion, and I would say in abruptly right out the gate,” said Tim Bradley to Max on Boxing, picking Artur Beterbiev to beat Anthony Yarde.

“This ain’t going the distance. This is a real good fight,” said Max Kellerman.

“No, this ain’t going the distance at all,” said Bradley.

“Beterbiev is properly favored here,” said Kellerman.

“When we think of a destructive guy, a guy with 18 fights and 18 knockouts, it’s pretty destructive. I guess the paradigm is what, early Mike Tyson?” said Mark Kriegel about Beterbiev.

“He doesn’t come out like that, like a maniac just trying to take you out. It’s more death by strangulation. If you look at his textbook knockouts, it’s Oleksandr Gvozdyk, who is a really good fighter.

“He was the WBC champion then, and really well trained. He took him out in ten,” Kriegel said about Beterbiev’s knockout win over Gvozdyk in 2019.

“Marcus Browne, he took him out in nine after that gruesome cut you saw in the fourth round, and what sparring partners and opponents really speak of is, it’s kind of death by strangulation.

“You feel his power, and you anticipate when it comes, and the oxygen in the room gets thinner, thinner and thinner, then he takes you out. Even his second round knockout of Joe Smith, which was really shocking because Smith is a big, tough guy.

“The way that was explained to me is, he [Beterbiev] boxed. It was more of a dissection than a destruction. He let Joe Smith come to him, ran him into punches, turned him, and what people don’t see, according to his corner people, is his technique,”  said Kriegel about Betebiev.