Anthony Yarde Admits Stealing A Punch From Floyd Mayweather Jr

Knock-out specialist Anthony Yarde admits he’s stolen a punch from Floyd Mayweather Jr.

The muscular East End light-heavyweight has got rid of his last 11 opponents inside the distance to climb up to No 5 in the WBO rankings – and next to have their chin tested is Nikola Sjekloca.

The 39 year old from Montenegro has never been stopped in his 32-4-1 career – and that could well change when he challenges Yarde for his WBO Intercontinental strap at the Copper Box Arena on Saturday, December 1.

The 26 year old has shown he has lights-out power in both fists in compiling a 13-0 (12) record and says the best punch he’s thrown in his pro career so far was one he borrowed from Mayweather.

“Floyd was over in London with Gervonta Davis,” said Yarde, “and he looked me up on YouTube.

“He saw me knock out Rayford Johnson with a lead left hook and said: ‘You got that shot from me, right ?’

“I said: ‘100 percent.’

“Until Roy Jones Jr and Floyd came along, nobody else was throwing lead left hooks like that.”

Yarde had a spell at Mayweather’s gym in Las Vegas a few years ago – and says watching him train inspired him to push himself harder in the gym.

Yarde says he “lives like an athlete 24/7 . . . my abs are always there” and he needs to work hard to make 12st 7lbs.”

He accepts a move up to cruiserweight, and possibly heavyweight, are likely, once he’s gone as far as he can at light-heavyweight.

He takes a sizeable step up in class next month.

Sjekloca has spent most of his career at super-middleweight, he was outpointed by Callum Smith in Liverpool three years ago, but for the last year or so he’s been campaigning at 12st 7lbs and last time out drew with Robert Stieglitz in a European-title challenge.

Jason McClory, Warren’s matchmaker, explained the thinking behind the Yarde-Sjekloca match.

“We need to know that Anthony can do the rounds, can bite on his gum shield when he has to,” he said.

“We need to find out if he’s the full package.”

Yarde has shown he has a big punch – and says he has the personality to be a star.

“The top pound-for-pound fighters at the moment are people like Terence Crawford and Vasyl Lomachenko,” said Yarde, “but nobody outside boxing knows who they are because they aren’t big personalities.

“People will see as my career goes on that I have a bit of personality.

“I’m a fun guy.”



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