Tim Bradley expects IBF/WBC/WBO light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev to slowly, methodically break mandatory challenger Anthony Yarde down round by round before eventually stopping him in the later rounds on Saturday night live on ESPN+ from the OVO Arena in London, England.
Bradley notes that most of Yarde’s 22 knockouts have come in the first half of his fights, and when his matches go beyond the halfway point, his technique & power begin to fade.
Yarde has faced mostly weaker opposition, so it’s difficult to know what he can do against a fighter of Beterbiev’s caliber.
The only notable fighter Yarde has faced in his 10-year career was Sergey Kovalev, and he lost to him. This wasn’t the best version of Kovalev that Yarde fought either, yet he still was knocked out by him.
Has Yarde improved?
According to Yarde and his trainer, he’s improved in the last four years since the Kovalev fight. Again, it’s impossible to know if Yarde has because these are the low-level fighters he’s faced since that loss:
Dec Spelman (15-6)
Diego Jair Ramirez (4-55)
Alex Theran (23-10)
“King Artur fights on ESPN+ this Saturday afternoon in London, and Anthony Yarde is going to try and come and derail that train to undisputed,” said Bernardo Osuna to ESPN+ about this Saturday’s title defense for IBF, WBC & WBO light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev against Anthony Yarde in London, England.
“Tim, what makes this fight so interesting is Beterbiev is a human wrecking machine, and he’s 38 years old. Does Anthony Yarde have elite power to short-circuit Beterbiev?”
“I think early on, to answer your question. Yes, early on,” said Tim Bradley about whether Yarde has the power to defeat Beterbiev. “Yarde’s power has to be respected early on because he’s explosive during that time.
“Towards the back end of the fight, you see his technique start to fade, and his power slowly diminishes as well. If you look at his record, most of his knockouts come in the first half of his fights,” Bradley said about the 31-year-old Yarde.
“With that being said, this fight reminds me; it’s taking me down memory lane. Do you remember ‘Fast & the Furious’? Do you remember Paul Walker and Vin Diesel? That scene where they were racing down the backend of that stretch, and you see them head to head, even playing field, and you see Paul Walker look over at Vin Diesel, and he hits that notch button, and he takes off.
“He starts easing towards Vin Diesel. Then you see Vin Diesel stay calm & patient, and then he hits his notch button, and he says, ‘Too early,’ and then he flies past him, and he wins the race.
“Afterwards, you see Paul Walker come up to him, and he says to Vin Diesel what did he say? ‘I almost had you.’ And what did Vin Diesel say? ‘You never had me.’ That’s exactly how this fight is going to end. Anthony Yarde is never going to have Beterbiev.
Beterbiev will break Anthony down
“Trust me on this. Beterbiev is going to slowly chop him down, break him down, and he’s going to get him up out of there,” said Bradley.
“I really like this fight. While I think Beterbiev is going to knock him out for sure, I think Anthony Yarde is deserving, and he has an exciting style, he has power, and he fought Sergey Kovalev, and Yarde told me he improved since then,” said Mike Coppinger.
“We’ll see how his conditioning is. Against Kovalev, Yarde’s conditioning betrayed him. He was a punch or two from finishing Kovalev off, and I thought he punched himself out and was gassed afterwards and Kovalev took him out later on in the fight [in the 11th round in 2019].
“This time, he had better on his A-game for his conditioning because Beterbiev will make you work both physically & mentally, and I think we’re going to get an Artur Beterbiev knockout late in the fight.
“One more thing I’ll note, and it doesn’t get talked about enough. Beterbiev has shown vulnerability with his chin. We’ve seen Beterbiev down early in fights. We saw him down against Callum Johnson.
“Can Yarde drop him and not just drop him but finish him, unlike what he did against Kovlalev?” said Coppinger.
“That reminds me of Felix Trinidad. It happened with Yory Boy Campas, and it happened with Fernando Vargas,” said Osuna. “If you drop him, you better finish him because if you don’t, look up because you’re going to need some help.
“I expect a wonderful fight. Don’t miss it on ESPN+ this Saturday.”