ANTHONY YARDE IS vowing to wow a bumper television audience when he finally gets to trade blows with light heavyweight rival Lyndon Arthur in Westminster on Saturday.
The Lion – aka the Beast – will be looking to overthrow King Arthur and seize the Commonwealth throne at Church House in a long-awaited collision that will be broadcast live on BT Sport 1 in the UK.
Eagerly anticipated clashes such as this one do not always live up to their explosive billing, with the ring warfare sometimes turning more tactical rather than open.
Yarde insists tactical maneuvers are not for him, and he will be seeking to inflict a show-stopping finish on his unbeaten opponent from Manchester.
“We will have to see on the night,” considered the 2019 world title challenger. “I am always looking to have a spectacular fight, always, always. I don’t like boring; I wouldn’t say I like looking back and seeing boring.
Everybody knows I am a big critic of myself, and if I get hit too much when I don’t need to get hit, I will criticize myself. If I don’t hit a person enough when I could have, I will criticize myself. If I am not as sharp as I can be, I will criticize myself.
“So it is about just getting a good performance out of myself. I only focus on myself.
“The fight is going to be entertaining, one hundred percent. I am looking to land shots I have been working on, to apply pressure, I am looking to do everything necessary to get the knockout victory.”
Arthur, 29, who became Commonwealth champion by defeating Emmanuel Anim in 2019, famously possesses the gift of the jab. Still, Yarde can only envision the 17-0 Team GB graduate failing to negate his own weapons Arsenal and ending up on the canvas.
“I picture establishing my own offense and winning the fight by knockout. Everybody knows I don’t predict rounds, but I do predict winning the fight by knockout. I’ve got 12 rounds to do it, that is 36 minutes, and in my opinion, that is a long time.
“For me, in my mind, it is inevitable. It is just when I get the knockout victory.”
Yarde’s confidence in his KO-artistry is not without foundation, with 19 of his 20 winning performances ending via stoppage. It is tempting to imagine that after accepting a mission to far-flung Chelyabinsk to take on a Russian legend on his home patch, domestic assignments must seem far less daunting.
The 29-year-old Ilford man says he is employing the same thought process in taking on Arthur as he did in attempting to topple the formidable Sergey Kovalev.
“If you listened to me before the Kovalev fight, I wasn’t talking to sell the fight. I am very confident in myself, and even before I started boxing, I knew I had something. I knew I could fight; I knew I could throw punches, I knew I had something many people ain’t got.
“That is not blowing smoke up myself; it is just having confidence in myself. I said I was going out there to knock Kovalev out, and people were like, ‘this guy is crazy.’
I didn’t say it would be easy; I said I was going to do it, and I almost pulled it off. In my opinion, it was the only way I was going to win that fight in Russia because I wasn’t going to win by decision, even if I did win it technically.
“So I openly said I was going to win by knockout, and I nearly did, but there were just little things, little differences. Sometimes it is just one punch in boxing, and it is about landing the right punch at the right time – and I almost did.
“It shows me the level I am at. If I can go out there and have that one option and be that close to pulling it off, it shows how mentally strong I can be in things I can achieve.”
Anthony Yarde (19-1, 18KOs) vs. Lyndon Arthur (16-0, 12KOs) for the Commonwealth light-heavyweight title headlines a night of boxing live on BT Sport 1 on Saturday, which also features a super bantamweight battle with the WBC International title at stake between Michael Ramabeletsa (18-17, 8KOs) and the unbeaten Southern Area champion Chris Bourke (8-0, 5KOs).
Bantamweight starlet Dennis McCann (7-0, 5KOs) takes on Pedro Matos (7-3) over eight rounds. 2016 Olympian Muhammad Ali has his second fight in the pro ranks, and there is a debut for Olympic Youth gold medallist Karol Itauma.