Anthony Yarde returns to the ring this weekend in what many in the sport are calling a warm up ahead of a world title shot against Artur Beterbiev early next year.
The man with the honour of filling the other corner is one Stefani Koykov – a Bulgarian born light-heavyweight fighting out of Germany. He has a record of 14 wins from 15 fights, including 12 knockouts. The one stoppage loss came at the hands of Rene Molik, who has won 3 and lost 10.
This trip marks Koykov’s first outing on British soil, having fought once in Bulgaria and had the rest of his campaign in Germany. He is 260th in BoxRec’s light-heavyweight rankings, and doesn’t feature in any sanctioning body top 20.
The bookmakers have Yarde a heavy favourite, with one leading company pricing Koykov at 12/1. If punters are brave enough to consider it going the distance, they can get around 9/1 for Yarde decision – but it’s likely this one ends when he wants it to.
About the match up, Yarde told Boxing Social that he was applying the same that he does each time he steps through the ropes.
“It’s a fight. It’s a boxing career. Every fight I take 100% seriously, so that’s my only focus right now.
There’s a danger in every fight, so I don’t focus on anything negative. I just gotta go out there on Saturday, do a job and, yeah, on to the next mission.”
Yarde’s 10-rounder against Koykov will take place on the undercard of Liam Davies vs Ionut Baluta in Telford this weekend. Viewers can tune in via BT Sport, with Yarde due to ring walk at around 9PM.
It will mark the second world title challenge for ‘The Beast from the East’, having previously come up short against Sergey Kovalev deep in the heart of Russia.