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Artur Beterbiev Ready To Return To Spotlight Saturday

Artur Beterbiev Ready To Return To Spotlight Saturday

Boxing News

Artur Beterbiev Ready To Return To Spotlight Saturday

Artur Beterbiev Ready To Return To Spotlight Saturday

Coming up Saturday night in London, England, unified light heavyweight champ Artur Beterbiev is ready to return in his latest title defense against home country favorite Anthony Yarde. On Wednesday the fighters held an open to the public workout, which was the first time to see the Russian since an injury in training last Summer delayed this bout.

Beterbiev suffered a knee injury back in August after the WBC/WBO/IBF champ, who is 18-0, 18 KOs, was last in the ring in June. That’s when he destroyed American Joe Smith via a second round KO to add the WBO world title to his WBC/IBF hardware.

Here’s more from the Top Rank recap of the open workout in London,

“King Artur is ready to light up London.

Artur Beterbiev, boxing’s only world champion with a 100 percent knockout rate, will battle England’s big-punching Anthony Yarde (23-2, 22 KOs) on Saturday evening at OVO Arena Wembley. Beterbiev-Yarde and undercard bouts will stream live and exclusively in the U.S. on ESPN+ at 3:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. PT.

Beterbiev returns to London for the first time since he represented Russia at the 2012 Olympics. He lost a close decision to Oleksandr Usyk in the quarterfinals of the heavyweight bracket, which concluded his amateur career. Beterbiev has resided in Montreal for more than a decade and fought his first eight pro bouts in Canada. He captured the IBF title in 2017, claimed the WBC crown in 2019 with a thrilling knockout over Oleksandr Gvozdyk, and added the WBO strap last June with a second-round bludgeoning of Joe Smith Jr.

Yarde does not have Beterbiev’s amateur pedigree, but he holds a claim as one of boxing’s pound-for-pound fiercest punchers. He has won his last three bouts, including a 2021 fourth-round knockout over Lyndon Arthur, who toppled Yarde by split decision in 2020. Yarde fought for a world title once before, succumbing via an 11th-round knockout to Sergey Kovalev after nearly stopping Kovalev in the eighth round.

“I had a good camp. I had good sparring. I will try to do my best. My team and I always try to be ready for anything, any strategy,” the champion Beterbiev said.

“I can’t compare {Yarde} to Joe Smith. It’s a different fight. Joe Smith had a belt at that time. It’s not comparable.”

As for Anthony Yarde, he said Wednesday

“If you look at what he’s (Beterbiev) accomplished so far, it’s amazing, and that’s what amps me up. So, again, I beat him, I deserve some respect.”

“I don’t look at what any other fighter has done {to him}. I don’t look at what he’s done to other fighters. Realistically, all you look at is style, but even that, you can’t take too much from. You only know once you step in there with a person, and you both shape up and you both start trading leather.”

“He’s never been in a situation where he’s lost. But for me, it’s all about me. That’s the way I am. That’s the way I operate. It’s about me and my legacy. He’s just the person with the belts.”

And whether Yarde will have a home crowd advantage?

“I just feel like this one feels right. This one feels better. {The Sergey Kovalev fight} didn’t. All that matters is when we get in that ring. Everything that’s said before is all he said, she said possibilities and things like that. When we get in the ring, that’s when we’ll see.”

Clearly, this will be Yarde’s toughest challenge to date. This as he’s fighting a man who has seven straight KO wins in championship fights dating back to beating Enrico Koelling in Fresno, CA, in November 2017.

And injury or not the Russian Beterbiev, who now trains out of Quebec, Canada, is looking at a possible undisputed showdown with WBA champ and fellow countryman Dmitry Bivol off this bout. But, first he’s got to be ready for Yarde in a tough atmosphere, as the “away fighter.”

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A veteran broadcaster of over 25 years, T.J. has been a fight fan longer than that! He’s the host of the “Big Fight Weekend” podcast and will go “toe to toe” with anyone who thinks that Marvin Hagler beat Sugar Ray Leonard or that Tyson, Lennox Lewis or Deontay Wilder could have beaten Ali!

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