Artur Beterbiev vs. Anthony Yarde | “We know what we want to do”

Artur Beterbiev, the best Quebec and Canadian boxer, is putting his three world belts on the line this Saturday in London. His British rival Anthony Yarde, another powerful puncher, does he have a chance to surprise him? Coach Marc Ramsay sets the table.

How much is Artur Beterbiev’s fight against Briton Anthony Yarde, this Saturday in London, expected in the boxing world?

The latest issue of the august British weekly boxing newsfounded in 1909, devotes no less than 15 pages to it.

This figure rises to 23 if we add the four pages on the greatest light heavyweight clashes in history and the long report about the legendary cutman Montreal player Russ Anber, who will be in Beterbiev’s corner at Wembley Arena.

For the first time in his professional career, Beterbiev will perform in a boxing ring in Great Britain, an international boxing mecca known for its committed and vocal fans. They should be 14,000 to 20,000 to intone sweet carolina this Saturday night.

“Fighting in London is different,” coach Marc Ramsay agreed this week. You should know that this is the place where boxing is the most popular around the world. The atmosphere is not the same. And there is the travel that comes with it. But Artur has already boxed here for the Olympics. »

In 2012, the one who then represented Russia lost in the quarter-finals against the future gold medalist, the Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk, current unified heavyweight champion.

Goodbye, smile!

A few months earlier, Beterbiev had gone to a gym in Camden Town, a district of London where Anthony Yarde was training. The young twenty-something had posed with the prestigious visitor.

It was the British pugilist who recalled the anecdote at a press conference on Thursday. Beterbiev did not remember. Deadpan, the Quebecer added that it is not for nothing that boxers are used to driving fast by car: “To not forget where we are going…”

Proud of his effect, Beterbiev was also cautious during the rest of the conference which was attended by two heavyweights of the promotion, his own, the American Bob Arum (Top Rank), and that of Yarde, the Briton Frank Warren (Queensbury), at the origin of this duel of sluggers.

“Artur isn’t necessarily the most smiling guy coming into the fight,” Ramsay corroborated.

As the week progresses, we see that he is more and more focused on his business. For us, it’s the usual routine.

Marc Ramsay

Beterbiev was nevertheless happy to reconnect with trainer Samuel Décarie-Drolet on the sidelines of Friday’s weigh-in, where the two pugilists respected the 175 lb limit.


Artur Beterbiev

“Artur is still strong, but he had no difficulty in making the weight,” said Ramsay’s deputy, who arrived the same morning in the British capital. “Sometimes you see guys who have sunken eyes, who can’t speak because their mouths are too pasty, clues that show they’re dehydrated. There, Artur was even smiling a little bit. It’s rare that we see him smile! »

One thing is certain, the Chechen of origin will not smile at the sound of the bell this Saturday in this final of a gala broadcast on RDS2 from 2:30 p.m. (EST). For this mandatory defense ordered by the WBO, he will also put his two world belts from the WBC and the IBF into play.

A dangerous rival

Beterbiev, who turned 38e anniversary with two sparring sessions last Saturday, will look to bring his clean record and knockout streak to 19, making him the only current world champion who has never gone to the limit. The American Joe Smith son, his last victim, did not last two rounds in June 2022 at Madison Square Garden.

“Everyone talks to us about it, but we don’t put our attention on it at all,” assured Ramsay, to whom the boxer attributes the merit of this exceptional striking force.

In one of the 15 pages, boxing news ranks the Canadian third in his list of the most powerful punchers on the planet, behind American heavyweight Deontay Wilder (42 knockouts for 43 wins) and Japanese bantamweight Naoya Inoue (21 in 24) .

Yarde isn’t there, but he’s still a dangerous rival with his hooks and uppercuts. The 31-year-old Briton has stopped the opponent in 22 of his 23 wins (for two losses).

I might not say he’s the biggest challenge [de la carrière d’Artur]but it’s still one of the good ones.

Marc Ramsay

“He’s a guy who has many facets: he’s a good boxer, a good counter-attacker who has speed and power. He may not have Artur’s level of experience, but he has a lot of genetic talent. He is very talented, very athletic,” Ramsay assessed.

Yarde hasn’t faced such high-profile vis-à-vis as his next opponent, but he came up against Sergey Kovalev in Russia in 2019. He managed to shake off the Russian before losing by K. -O. at 11e assault, his first setback. Since then, his record is 5-1.

Beterbiev will need to be especially mindful of the left hook-right hand combo that Yarde is fond of. “But like Artur, he’s a guy who can generate power with every punch,” the coach warned.

His clan brought an Australian, an American and two young Brits to Montreal to serve as training partners. The latter even made two stays in the metropolis. “Believe the hype! suggested Callum Simpson, one of the two, impressed by Beterbiev’s professionalism.

Everything to lose

With 300 amateur bouts and a large majority of professional bouts fought overseas, Beterbiev won’t be bothered by the hostile environment that awaits him in London, Ramsay said.

“We have put in place a good tactic, a good strategy for this fight. We know what we want to do. It’s about applying it well and, emotionally, not getting too carried away by the crowd. I think it will go well. »

Of all the stakeholders and journalists surveyed by boxing news, none give the local favorite any real chance. Except his coach Tunde Ajayi, who feels Yarde deserves more respect given the personal challenges he overcame (his father and three of his grandparents died of COVID-19).

Anthony is the special one, not Beterbiev.

Tunde Ajayi, coach of Anthony Yarde

Yarde is the one who has everything to gain this Saturday. The corollary therefore dictates that Beterbiev has everything to lose, including a hoped-for and expected confrontation with Dmitrii Bivol, holder of the other major belt (WBA) eyed by the Montrealer.

“Right now Artur is fully focused on Yarde,” Ramsay said. It is still a major challenge. But from the point of view of management, of the team, it is sure that this is the fight that we would now like to have. You have to see on the other side if they are interested or not. »

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