This weekend, Anthony Yarde faces what some see as a near-impossible task as he attempts to become the first fighter to defeat unified light-heavyweight champion, Artur Beterbiev, in the professional ring.
Beterbive broke onto the professional scene with strong amateur pedigree and he has more than lived up to the high expectations that fight fans had for him. The Russian-Canadian has fought eighteen times thus far and won all of his contests by knockout and securing the WBC, WBO & IBF world titles in the process.
Meanwhile, Yarde is yet to win a world title, losing in the eleventh round of his maiden challenge against Sergey Kovalev in 2019.
The 31-year-old has since bounced back from a second career defeat against Lyndon Arthur with three knockout victories, including one in the rematch over Arthur. He goes into the fight boasting an impressive knockout record, with twenty-two stoppages in twenty-three wins.
Despite Tyson Fury’s use of the word ‘bodybuilder’ to insult Anthony Joshua, Beterbiev insists that there is no malice he refers to Yarde as the same – which he has done throughout the build up. The champion says he is simply complimenting Yarde on his muscular physique.
In the press conference for the fight, Yarde responded to the comments and accepted the commendation from his opponent.
AB: “I said, because it looks like muscle, you know, like bodybuilder. I don’t have like this muscle, I am not like bodybuilder. It is not like I say that for [a bad way] or something, I say like he looks stronger.”
AY: “Yeah, I feel like I am chiselled, I’ve got abs, I trained hard. He is in shape as well, I’ll give him that.”
Beterbiev and Yarde will go toe-to-toe on Saturday night, live on BT Sport and top a bumper eleven-fight bill.
The undercard features the debut of highly-rated heavyweight prospect, Moses Itauma, alongside his brother Karol (9-0), as well as a flyweight world title fight between Artem Dalakian and David Jimenez.
Ring walks for the main card are expected to take place around 7pm GMT (2pm ET), with Beterbiev and Yarde entering the ring around 10pm GMT (5pm ET).