Yarde: I Laughed at Step Aside Offers - I Wanted Kovalev in Russia

Light heavyweight contender Anthony Yarde reveals that he rejected several step-aside offers, to back away from his mandatory shot at WBO world champion Sergey Kovalev.

Yarde will travel to Russia on August 24, to challenge Kovalev for his world title.

But there were a few weeks where the contest was in doubt, because Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez was trying to secure Kovalev for a September 14th clash in Las Vegas.


Yarde was approached a few times, with different offers, to move away from the Kovalev fight.

In the end, Canelo's handlers were unable to reach an agreement with Kovalev, who appeared to have more motivation to face Yarde as the fight date neared. 

"I got offered step aside money. First of all, it was under what I'm getting to fight Kovalev and I laughed at it. Then they offered me the same amount that I'm getting for the fight and I laughed it again," Yarde told Sportsmail.

"I said to them, you better be doubling or tripling it to get me to step aside because this is a world title fight. Yes, it's to do with money but I wanted to be a world champion. I feel like they were just gobsmacked I'm actually up for going to Russia, a lot of people are.

"I would rather get paid the same money and fight for a world title. They offered me life-changing money to step aside and let him fight Canelo but again I just said, you've got to double or triple it to get me to walk away from a world title shot. Either they couldn't afford it or it didn't make sense to them, I don't know the reasons behind it but they didn't up their offer."

When the fight was announced, Yarde explains that a lot of critics expected him to withdraw or back away from the fight - but he was more than eager to enter enemy territory to face Kovalev.

"Nobody has really gone out to Russia to fight somebody like Kovalev. A lot of people are paying attention to it and can't believe what I'm doing. Some people think I'm going to pull out. I've seen comments saying 'Oh this is a good publicity stunt' and I was just laughing. They don't understand. They really don't understand I have been offered a lot of money to not fight this guy. 90 percent of people would have snapped their hands off. They would have got on their knees and thanked them. I see it as this is my career, this is my world title and I want it now," Yarde said.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by MASTER OF you on 08-15-2019

[QUOTE=deathofaclown;19976505]Al those saying Yarde has no chance will just say Kovalev was shot to bits if Yarde wins. He won’t get the credit. Anyway nobody really knows how good he is. His level of opposition tell us nothing except he…

Comment by Sid-Knee on 08-12-2019

[QUOTE=Corelone;19976377]Let's move on. What do you think of Yards chances and will you be happy if he wins?[/QUOTE] You want to move on because I've asked you to back up your constant slander that you throw at us? This is…

Comment by deathofaclown on 08-10-2019

Al those saying Yarde has no chance will just say Kovalev was shot to bits if Yarde wins. He won’t get the credit. Anyway nobody really knows how good he is. His level of opposition tell us nothing except he…

Comment by BLASTER1 on 08-10-2019

[QUOTE=apollocreed;19974014]He just doesn't seem like the real deal to me. The way his career has been about just knocking out tomato cans, and now his big title shot. Why has he not been put in with a decent contender or…

Comment by Corelone on 08-10-2019

[QUOTE=cally83;19976395]I'm English, have seen a lot of Yarde, he's big, strong, very muscular and has a resume that doesn't really tell you much. But he's been doing all he can do which is win. I don't see anything in him…

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