Artur Beterbiev has not bothered trying to get in the face of Anthony Yarde in the build-up to their world light-heavyweight title fight this week, which is a good thing, because Yarde is a hard man to intimidate.

A week after the controversy involving Liam Smith and Chris Eubank Jr's press conference garnered headlines the sport didn’t need, this is a fight to get lovers of the sport purring. Having a boxer the talent of Beterbiev defending his WBA, WBO and IBF light-heavyweight titles in the UK remains a bit of a coup, but while the bookmakers make the Canada-based Russian an overwhelming favorite for Saturday's fight at Wembley, many see Yarde as a live underdog, given a chance because of his youth and punching power.

But Yarde is taking fight week in his stride and while Beterbiev might be seen as something of a human wrecking ball, Yarde does not seem concerned.

“I don’t fear anybody,” Yarde said. "There’s no person in this world that I fear because of certain situations I’ve been in and grown up around. I’ve been approached by people with guns, I’ve had loads of boys around me with knives trying to stab me, getting ready to rob me.

“This is me being paid to have a fight. I like fighting! For someone who has come from where I have come from, this is special. I’m here to seize the moment.”

Still, Yarde looks at home ahead of such a meaningful fight and there are no signs of nerves.

“Nerves can change a fighter," he said. “You hear of gym fighters, ‘oh he’s a killer in the gym, he’s a monster in the gym’ and come fight night you’re thinking ‘Who is this guy? He looks like a different person’.

“I’ve seen that person in the sport before. I’ve had stablemates and sparred stablemates and when it comes to fight night I’m like ‘What is he doing? That’s not the same person’. There are gym fighters, and real fighters. The main component of that is how they deal with their emotions, their nerves, the excitement and the fear of it.

“It has been years since I lost my temper. I can’t really remember. As I got older I looked more into life and got more of an understanding. Losing your rag is a lack of control. It’s not beneficial. When I was young it helped me in certain situations but it can put you into situations you don’t want to be in. ”

Tunde Ajayi, Yarde's trainer, has been quoted as saying that Beterbiev has nothing to worry Yarde, but the British challenger is not looking at things that way.

“I disagree 100 percent,”  Yarde said. "I think he’s just saying that for a bit of attention, take on that role again. There’s a lot there to take in. There’s nobody on this planet who can have his record and do what he’s done if there’s nothing to worry about.

“I’ve seen little clips of him, he’s done smooth and basic things very well. Clearly he hits hard but the little things he does do, he does well and he does them repeatedly. He’s got a good engine but, at the same time, he gets hit. I’m not a person you can stand there and get hit by. It’s exciting.

“I’m a different person. I don’t copy anyone else’s life. I am Anthony Yarde. One thing I do know about myself is that I’m real and I’ve got heart and I don’t fear nothing. I’m a very strong believer in God. If you want something you go for it. I feel it is better going for something and knowing the outcome rather than not going for something and not knowing the outcome.

“I’ve got the ability to beat this guy, they say it is a puncher’s chance but it is not only a puncher’s chance, I can box. I am not just a ‘boom’, one punch. I don’t really throw haymakers or try to get one punch knockouts, he doesn’t fight like that either. My mentality makes me different.

“I’ve not looked at the odds. There’s certain things I don’t pay attention to, it can distract you, it can take away your focus, it can make you overcompensate. Certain things don’t matter. The only thing that matters to me is when we both step into the ring, the bell goes ding, ding, ding and we start shimmying. That’s all that matters.”

Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.