Anthony Yarde’s promoter Frank Warren has revealed that he’s booked the O2 Arena in London for an October title match against unified light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum says the winner of the Beterbiev-Yarde fight could possibly fight for the undisputed light heavyweight championship in the first quarter of next year.
That might be a little hard to do, though, given that WBA 175-lb champion Dmitry Bivol is likely to be taking on Canelo Alvarez at that time in a rematch. If that fight doesn’t happen, hopefully, Arum has a quality contender to match against Beterbiev because the fans want to see Artur take on good fighters.
For some reason, Arum doesn’t seem keen on letting Beterbiev fight Bivol. It could be the way Bivol schooled Joe Smith Jr. in 2019 that has him dragging his feet on making the fight with Beterbiev.
The unbeaten IBF, WBC & WBO 175-lb champion Beterbiev (18-0, 18 KOs) will be making a defense against Yarde (22-2, 21 KOs) in a fight that his promoter Bob Arum wanted.
The deal was in the works for Beterbiev to Yarde before the champion fought WBO champion Joe Smith Jr last Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York.
With Beterbiev’s second-round knockout win over Smith (28-4, 22 KOs), he gets to be the one that faces the 30-year-old Yarde, who has struggled when fighting higher caliber opposition during his career.
Although the Beterbiev vs. Yarde fight is mandatory defense, it’s seen by some boxing fans as an easy voluntary for Artur because it’s expected to be a mismatch, perhaps more so than last Saturday’s match.
Yarde can punch but his stamina and chin are sorely lacking, which doesn’t bode well for him against Beterbiev. But you can argue this fight is more about money than competitiveness, as it’s not expected to be a close affair. Beterbiev is in another galaxy than Yarde in terms of talent.
We look forward to the sensational Artur Beterbiev crossing the pond to fight Anthony Yarde in London this fall. We hope that the winner can fight for the undisputed light heavyweight title early next year.
“Anthony holds the No.1 spot with the WBO and would be called as mandatory in any case so, along with Bob Arum of Top Rank, we put our plans into action and have booked the 02 Arena,” said Yarde’s promoter Frank Warren on his website.
“Now we are doing it the other way around and counting on Anthony to seize the belts.
“I believe Anthony can do a job on Beterbiev. I really do. Yes, he is a big puncher, but then so is Anthony and Callum has shown before that Beterbiev can be rocked,” said Warren.
Few boxing fans would agree with Warren’s opinion that Yarde “can do a job on Beterbiev.” On the contrary, fans view Yarde as food for Beterbiev and another mismatch. As bad as Yarde looked against Lyndon Arthur and washed up Sergey Kovalev in defeats, he wouldn’t beat even Joe Smith Jr.