By: Sean Crose
For years now he’s been regarded as one of the most ferocious and skilled fighters in all of boxing. And this weekend in Great Britain 38 year old Artur Beterbiev will once again get a chance to show the world just how good he is when he takes on the popular vet Anthony Yarde in a scheduled 12 rounder at Wembley Arena. The fight will be for Beterbiev’s IBF, WBC and WBO world light heavyweight titles and will be broadcast live here in the States on ESPN+. For the record, this one has the chance to be a barn burner.
Why? Because Beterbiev has won every one of his 18 bouts within the distance. What’s more, the 23-2 Yarde has won all but 1 of his 23 victories within the distance. Anything can happen in the ring, of course, but it’s doubtful this one is going to go the distance. And then? Well, if Yarde pulls off the upset he becomes the absolute toast of boxing. If, on the other hand, Beterbiev does his thing – as he is widely expected to – all eyes will be on a battle for undisputed between himself and fellow Russian Dmitry Bivol. Not that Beterviev is looking too far ahead. According to co-trainer John Scully, the fighter’s focus is exactly where it should be.
“He trains so hard and stays so focused on the task at hand,” Scully says. “We don’t just train to get in shape but we also train to specifically fight each individual opponent.” Training, according to Scully, is an exercise in precision. Beterbiev, he says, is “always working on tactics to counter the opponent.” Suffice to say, the noted trainer, and former fighter and broadcaster of note, is confident walking in to Saturday’s fight. “Everything is in place for Saturday to be successful for us,” he says.
Beterbiev’s last bout was a two round destruction of the popular Joe Smith last June. In a world title reign that has now lasted more than five years, the man has bested such other notables as Marcus Browne and Oleksandr Gvozdyk. As for Yarde, aside from a split decision loss to Lyndon Arthur in 2020, his only defeat has come at the gloved hands of the ferocious Sergey Kovalev. The Englishman’s last bout was a fourth round knockout of the same Arthur who beat him in 2020 Again, this weekend’s fight has the makings of a barn burner…for as long as it lasts.