Anthony Yarde isn’t the emotional type, but he fully expects to let his guard down if he gets his hands raised on January 28th.
That’s when Yarde will take on WBO, WBC, and IBF 175-pound champion Artur Beterbiev of Russia at OVO Arena Wembley in London. Yarde, a native Londoner, will enjoy home court advantage, but he figures to be a sizable underdog against the undefeated Beterbiev, who has stopped every opponent he has ever faced inside the professional ring.
It will mark the second title shot for Yarde, who came tantalizingly close to winning the WBO strap in 2019, when he travelled to Russia to face then titlist Sergey Kovalev. Yarde had Kovalev seriously in trouble in the middle rounds but was unable to close the show. Kovalev ended up stopping Yarde in the 11th round with a jab.
Three years later, Yarde has worked his way up the rankings and is determined to not squander the opportunity. Yarde envisions nothing less than a win—and some uncharacteristic behavior from himself after the fight.
“When I hear ‘And the new’ — I don’t cry — I don’t cry sad tears,” Yarde told iD Boxing. “I only cry happy ears. But this one … If anyone wants to see me cry in tears, tears of joy will be flowing, I think, on January 28th.”
Beterbiev-Yarde was originally supposed to take place in December, but Beterbiev, who lives and trains in Montreal, had to pull out of the fight because of a pre-existing injury.
“January 28 will be my night,” Yarde said during the press conference to announce the fight in London. “My destiny is at stake in my hometown, and this is what I have longed for throughout my professional career, which began at Wembley. I won’t make any big predictions for this fight against a strong unified champion, but what I will say is that I won’t leave anything to chance. I am at my best and I will show it.”