Yarde takes on the unbeaten Lyndon Arthur on Saturday night, in a fight for the light-heavyweight Commonwealth title
Anthony Yarde intends to deliver a statement knockout when he steps into the ring against Lyndon Arthur at Church House Westminster on Saturday for the Commonwealth crown.
But Yarde, who suffered his first loss a year ago but came within a whisker of defeating world champion Sergey Kovalev in Russia, explained: “What I do know about Arthur is that he’s going to be hungry. Everybody who fights me is going to want a victory because it puts them in a certain limelight, a certain category. It will be big news. I see him as motivation for me as well.
“I’m in a situation where I’ve built my career the hard way. I’ve knocked out most of my opponents and taken big risks in boxing. I’ve been out to Russia and I’ve showed my determination, my heart and what I can accomplish in boxing. If he thinks he’s going to get an unprepared Anthony Yarde or an Anthony Yarde that’s not looking to take his head off, then he’s very mistaken.”
Yarde, from east London, revealed that he has lost four family members to Covid-19. “I feel everyone is going through this pandemic, that we’re all in this together. But boxing is not a sport where you can act on emotion or get angry and let out any frustration. If you do that you’re going to find yourself get hit a lot. I learned that very early in boxing.
“I was quite hot-headed when I was younger. I tried to retaliate with what I saw Mike Tyson do, I thought I could do it as well. I learned very, very quickly it doesn’t work like that. There’s a lot of skill in boxing.”
Frank Warren, the promoter of Saturday’s fight, believes that the winner of this light-heavyweight contest will progress to a world title fight next year.
Yarde added: “I’m always looking to have a spectacular fight. Always. I don’t like boring or looking back and seeing boring. Everyone knows I’m a big critic of myself. If I get hit too much when I don’t need to I’m going to criticise myself. If I don’t hit the person enough when I could have hit them I going to criticise myself. But this fight is going to be very entertaining, 100 per cent. I’m looking to land shots I have been working on. I’m looking to apply pressure. I’m looking to do everything and do everything that’s necessary to get the knockout.”
For Arthur, meanwhile, unbeaten in 17 contests, this challenge represents the opportunity to elevate his name and his status. The Mancunian told Telegraph Sport. “I’m confident. I’m excited to get in the ring and do the business.”
“Yarde is good, powerful, strong, can box a bit. What you see is what you get. He hits people and they go down. But I believe my best beats his best. That’s just me. The art of boxing is hit and not get hit. Everyone hits hard. I’ve just got to be clever.”
This promises to be an intriguing fight, and the key for Arthur will be to establish his jab to blunt Yarde’s offensive power. But Yarde may have too much and force a late stoppage.
Yarde vs Arthur is live on BT Sport on Saturday Night from Westminster Church Hall