Yarde has taken lessons from his defeat to Sergey Kovalev in Russia last year and will go for the knockout against Spelman on Saturday
Yarde explained how his only career defeat in 20 contests against Kovalev has been put into perspective by the duo. “I’ve been listening 50 cent’s audiobook, ‘The Hustler'” he explained to Telegraph Sport.
“There’s part in there where he says he was willing to fail over and over again to get success. If he never tried, it’s impossible to succeed. But each time you fail, you learn something. He had so many setbacks. He was about to be signed and then got shot and was dropped by the label. He stayed on his job.”
“It’s the same thing for me. It was an impossible ask to go out to Russia and knock out Kovalev. I felt that was the only way I’d win, but I made a good account of myself and we keep moving onwards and upwards. With the limited experience I’ve had, it’s just a mindset. I keep telling everyone, you have to install it into yourself first and then believe in yourself to grow. So I’m on that mentality.”
As for meeting 50 Cent, Yarde said: “He literally sat down with us. [The boxer] Devin Haney’s dad knows 50 Cent and we were staying with Devin in Las Vegas. ’50’ was in town and he said he’d introduce us. We were in Floyd Mayweather’s gym and Devin told us 50 was here and we had to leave, packed up our stuff and he was at his new gym. He waited for us and spent three hours talking with us. It was beautiful. He gave us information you can’t pay for. I always pay homage and the information he gave me, I digest that information.”
Yarde is the firm favourite against Spelman – record 16 wins, four defeats – but admitted that he has put all the work in for an opponent who sees victory over the muscularity of Yarde as a huge stepping stone. “You can’t take anybody lightly and Dec will keep coming. He showed that in his fight with Lyndon Arthur. But I believe this is a sport about knockouts, and that’s what I’m going for.”
Yarde is on a collision course to meet fellow rising light heavyweight star Joshua Buatsi, but insisted the fight will come at the right time. “It’s a big fight and it becomes a massive fight if we both stay patient and keep focused. I’ve met him a couple of times. I wouldn’t say we’re friends but there’s respect there. When we meet it’ll be an entertaining fight. We’ve both got these certain characters and we can both fight. It’ll be a historic fight and if the build up and promotion goes well, people will want to see it again.
“Things like this are things I’ve dreamed of. I’ve got a lot of criticism for not taking domestic fights but I’ve got my own strategy.”
Yarde added: “Me and [coach] Tunde Ajayi and Frank Warren are all in total agreement, to become world champion and stay there. I don’t want to become world champion and lose it immediately. I want to become world champion, take over the division and take it from there.”
Yarde vs Spelman headlines the card on BT Sport on Saturday night.