Anthony Yarde may have initially protested his corner’s decision to throw in the towel during the eighth round of his hellacious war with Artur Beterbiev, but he was more than appreciative of that gesture after the fight.
In his second world title opportunity, Yarde valiantly tried to wrest away three of the four light heavyweight belts from unified champion Beterbiev at Wembley Arena in London last Saturday night but the Briton came up short after eating a right hand in the eighth round that left him tottering around the ring. Yarde’s corner, as led by his chief trainer Tunde Ajayi, then motioned to the referee to stop the fight.
“Tunde and my team, they care about me and love me, they’re seeing something that I’m not seeing,” Yarde said of his corner’s decision to throw in the towel in an interview with BT Sport. “I’ve got that lion mentality-warrior thing …when I get up I’m going through him. I’m gonna give it my all. If he catches me again he catches me. All this is going through my head.”
In his previous world title shot, in 2019, Yarde was knocked out by then titlist Sergey Kovalev in the 11th round. Yarde was commended, however, for nearly earning a stoppage himself earlier in the fight.
Yarde’s performance against Beterbiev also drew broad praise as he appeared to trouble the durable Russian at various times throughout their fight. Yarde felt he nearly had Beterbiev in dire straits at one point in their donnybrook.
“At one point, I was like, ‘I got him.’ I was like, I got him,” Yarde said. “He had me in the corner one time and he was throwing a lot of shots that were hurting. I said you know what, keep moving, keep moving. And then, yeah, I was moving, pacing myself at the same time. Learning from my past experiences. And then I think I hit him, then he hit me back … I’ve seen those clips where he dips and throws that overhand right, and then he just caught me, so I went down. I heard the ref say, 'two, three,’ and I remember him saying ‘you don’t need to get up straightaway,' so I waited. I went to get up, I wasn’t wobbling.”
Yarde may not have a win to show for his efforts, but the 31-year-old firmly believes he has improved.
“The difference is, in Russia, against Kovalev, I felt like a lot was just different,” Yarde said. “With this fight, it is what it is. I’ve grown a lot since then as well.”
When the interviewer half-jokingly suggested that Yarde’s two attempts at a light heavyweight title both came against fearsome champions, Yarde jovially protested his situation.
“You know what I’m sayin’, like all these people, they get one of these … beat up someone and get a belt--I’m fighting these flipping Russians that got veins and abs and … it’s just one of those things that’s boxing,” Yarde said. “Again, in boxing sometimes God gives you the toughest of battles to the strongest of warriors.”
“We wanted to win, bring home the unified championship of the world,” Yarde added. “It’s boxing. It’s the hardest sport in the world. It’s still lions in the camp.”
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