Artur Beterbiev and Anthony Yarde continued to show nothing but respect for each other after they made weight Friday afternoon in London.
Neither fighter said a word on stage as they faced off for cameras a day before their light heavyweight title fight at OVO Arena Wembley in London.
The Russian-born Beterbiev came in slightly heavier than Yarde when they stepped on the British Boxing Board of Control’s scale. Beterbiev officially weighed 174 ½ pounds, whereas Yarde came in at 174 ¼ pounds.
The rest of the numbers separate them by more than that as they move toward a main event BT Sport 1 will televise in the United Kingdom and Ireland (7 p.m. GMT).
Beterbiev, 38, is seven years older than Yarde, 31. The Quebec-based champion also has knocked out all 18 of his professional opponents.
Yarde, though also a big puncher, has two losses on his record (23-2, 22 KOs).
Russia’s Sergey Kovalev (35-4-1, 29 KOs) defeated Yarde by 11th-round technical knockout in August 2019 at Traktor Ice Arena in Chelyabinsk, Russia, Kovalev’s hometown. British rival Lyndon Arthur later upset Yarde by split decision in a 12-round bout that took place in December 2020 at Church House in London.
Yarde emphatically avenged that close loss to Manchester’s Arthur (21-1, 15 KOs) by knocking him out in the fourth round of their rematch almost a year to the day later at Copper Box Arena in London.
Yarde, of Ilford, England, is the mandatory challenger for Beterbiev’s WBO 175-pound championship. Beterbiev also will defend his IBF and WBC belts in their 12-round main event.
Caesars Sportsbook listed Beterbiev as a 9-1 favorite to defeat Yarde on Friday morning.
In addition to BT Sport’s live coverage Saturday night, ESPN+ will stream Beterbiev-Yarde in the United States. Four Beterbiev-Yarde undercard bouts will be streamed live as well, starting at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.
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