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Cook: Yarde will fulfil world title dream

Respected coach James Cook MBE firmly believes Anthony Yarde will recover from his setback against Lyndon Arthur to become a light-heavyweight world champion.

Former British and European super-middleweight title holder Cook has been drafted in to aid Yarde’s comeback alongside the Ilford puncher’s long-time trainer and mentor Tunde Ajayi.

Former WBO title challenger Yarde (20-2, 19 KOs) dropped a split decision to Manchester’s unbeaten Commonwealth champ Arthur last December, but Cook insists the Essex-based fighter is far from done.

Yarde returns to the light-heavyweight fray against selected opposition at the Albert Hall, London, on July 10, live on BT Sport in the UK.

“I am just here so if something goes wrong I will try and correct it and tell Tunde. People might think I am here shouting, but it is not that, the whole idea is to see what is going wrong and look at what we can do better. I will tell them what I think,” said the 62-year-old Cook.

“What I like about these guys is they listen, they are a young team who are willing to learn from someone who has been there and done it. I am here to correct them and say ‘you know what, this is what you do in this situation’.

“Because when you get that close to a fighter you can get caught up in it and not see things. I am here to guard against that because I have been there and I can look for things that maybe they are not looking for.

“The truth is very important for a fighter and, as I have said to people, if they are not hearing the truth they are hearing nonsense. They are in there to survive and you have got to be honest.

“Anthony is his own man and I am the older man, so if I don’t speak the truth this is never going to work. I am here to make sure the truth is spoken. Anthony has all the heart in the world and it is probably that calmness that he needs around him. When everyone is wrapped up in emotion they probably miss that.

“Listen, he will definitely be a world champion. He fought for one before [LTK10 Sergey Kovalev in August 2019] and it was part of a learning experience where he will know what to do next time. He is definitely ready for a world title fight.”

Main image: Queensberry Promotions.