Anthony Yarde is open to getting all the help he can get ahead of his title shot against Artur Beterbiev.
England’s Yarde will face WBO, WBC, IBF 175-pound champion Beterbiev of Russia on Jan. 28 at OVO Arena Wembley in London.
Recently, Yarde (23-2, 22 KOs) said he picked the brain of one Oleksandr Usyk, the former undisputed cruiserweight champion and current WBO, WBA, IBF heavyweight champion from Ukraine. Usyk, the skilled southpaw, fought Beterbiev (18-0, 18 KOs) three times in the amateurs, winning twice and losing once.
“We listen,” Yarde told SecondsOut.com. “When a student of the game gives me advice, like Usyk—he was there for the Fury-Chisora fight—Usyk was talking to us, and I was listening. As a person, I’m so humble when it comes to learning.”
When asked to reveal a few things Usyk told him, Yarde kept mum.
“That’s between me and him,” he said.
“He’s just telling me some things,” Yarde continued. “Remember, he fought Beterbiev twice [sic]. He was just telling me some things. Just a little advice, some things. Lovely guy. When you see me smiling and laughing, it’s not fake. He’s (Usyk) the exact same. He’s bubbly, but he can fight.
“Yeah, man, that’s what it’s about. Being a student and trying to learn. Everyone is going to be a critic, when things aren’t going right, but when things are going well, there’s an awkward silence. They’re only going to have their opinion for the next fight.”
Yarde is coming off a third-round stoppage of Stefani Koykov late in a 10-rounder at Telford International Centre in Telford, England.
Yarde, 31, is the WBO mandatory for Beterbiev, who picked up that particular belt when he stopped Joe Smith Jr. in two rounds in their 175-pound title unification fight June 18 at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater in New York City.
The 37-year-old Beterbiev and Yarde were originally supposed to fight in late October, but their encounter had to be postponed for several months because Beterbiev realized he needed more time to recover from right knee surgery, which he underwent immediately after the Smith fight.