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Yarde to topple ex-champ Kovalev? Get Sergey Kovalev v Anthony Yarde tips

Leigh Copson 16 Aug 2019
Anthony Yarde (credit:Chris Radburn/PA Archive/PA Images)

Anthony Yarde will walk into enemy territory when he challenges WBO light-heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev on August 24. Will ‘The Beast From The East’ leave Russia as a world champion or will the experienced champion retain his belt to send the challenger home empty-handed? Read on for our betting tips & guide to the big fight.

Road To Kovalev v Yarde

Anthony Yarde’s road to a world light-heavyweight title shot has been short and sweet – it will come in only his 19th professional outing. The 28-year-old Londoner, who had a brief amateur career, has amassed a perfect record of 18-0 since turning pro and only man has managed to go the distance with him in this time, and that was in a four-rounder in his second bout back in June 2015. Yarde has been a light-heavyweight wrecking ball, but can he now pass the biggest test of his career?

Sergey Kovalev has been there, done it and bought the t-shirt. Having racked up medals in the Russian and world military amateur ranks, ‘Krusher’ crossed over into the professional scene a decade ago and has enjoyed a good deal of success ever since.

Six years ago he became a world champion for the first time when he dethroned Welshman Nathan Cleverly inside four rounds to become WBO light-heavyweight champion, and less than 18 months later he added the WBA (Super) and IBF titles to his collection by besting the legendary Bernard Hopkins over 12 rounds. After several successful defences he surrendered his titles to Andre Ward in November 2016, and when the two men met several months later it was the American who came out on top once again, this time stopping Kovalev inside eight rounds. The Russian bounced back to reclaim the WBO belt in his very next fight before losing it to Eleider Alvarez a year ago, but he avenged that loss to the Colombian with a unanimous decision victory in February, setting up this world title showdown between Kovalev and rising British star Yarde.

But will Kovalev enjoy a successful defence of the title he is now holding for the third time in his career, or can Yarde complete his swift rise to the top of the WBO’s light-heavyweight division by becoming a world champion for the first time? 

Sergey Kovalev v Anthony Yarde Tips

Yarde deserves a mountain of credit for agreeing to this massive step-up and he clearly possesses the pop in his punches that could cause problems for Kovalev, but ultimately I share the same opinion that a lot of pundits, tipsters and fans have about this fight – this fight has not come at the right time for the challenger.

Yarde has not been taken into deep waters during the 18 professional fights he has had so far and Kovalev is levels above the standard of opposition he has faced on the road to securing this world title fight. The Russian has shared the ring with some top talent over the course of his career and while he has now gone 3-3 in his last six fights, two of those defeats came against Andre Ward and there is certainly no shame in losing to a man who dominated at super-middleweight for several years before making the leap to light-heavyweight, where he also racked up a string of accolades.

Kovalev avenged his defeat to Eleider Alvarez a year ago by regaining his title from the Colombian back in February, and although you have to wonder just how much the 36-year-old has left in the tank at this time, he is still a top operator. He boasts a 76% knockout percentage after 37 fights, which proves he has the power to really test the chin of the challenger, and this will be the first time where we see Yarde come up against some adversity.

How will he respond? We will see on the night, but I do believe that Yarde will take the champion into the latter rounds. The problem is he will not topple the champion in his home country on points unless he dominates the contest to be a clear winner – and even then we know how boxing works, that may not be enough. That could make Yarde desperate, resulting in him walking onto a big shot that ends his challenge. Yarde will do enough to suggest that he could be a leading light-heavyweight down the line, but when all is said and done it will be Kovalev who is still sitting atop the WBO light-heavyweight ranks.

What The Experts Are Saying

Former two-weight world champion Andre Ward, who beat Kovalev twice, told the Daily Star: “I wouldn't say it's too early [for Yarde]. I think that the timing is right from a standpoint of his age, his physicality and all that stuff, but he just hasn't fought the right fights at this stage and that's the issue. You can't go from a C level to an A level, or A- level, or B+ level. Some guys can pull it off. You've got the Floyd Mayweathers of the world, you've got Muhammad Ali when he fought Sonny Liston. You've got those types of guys, but I don't know if Yarde is that guy. Do you know why? Because I haven't seen enough. I'm not a big hype guy. I can look at you and say 'man, you've got potential. But let me see you against that guy.' That's the only way if you can tell you've got the right horse for the race. So they're taking a leap up, and all this stuff about not needing to spar and the mitt-work and all that stuff's going to be sufficient… good luck with that. Good luck with that.”

Former world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury talking to BT Sport: “I fancy Anthony Yarde, I really do. I think Kovalev is on the slide, he's been a very good world champion in his time and he's done very well, but I think the Andre Ward losses have beat the s*** out of him really. He lost the fight to Alvarez then came back to beat him but I think a young man will always beat an older one and that's my motto. I fancy Anthony Yarde to knock him out, not just beat him on points, but stop him, because that’s what he'll have to do in Russia.”

Sergey Kovalev v Anthony Yarde Tale Of The Tape

Sergey Kovalev v Anthony Yarde

Sergey KovalevTale Of The TapeAnthony Yarde
33 (28 KOs)Wins18 (17 KOs)
3 (2 KOs)Losses0
76%KO %94%
162Total Rounds51
6' 0"Height6' 0"
72 1/2"Reach72"

What The Fighters Said

Anthony Yarde: “This is my time now and I am going to show the world what I am all about. Waiting for my time to come around could have been a frustration but we turned it into a positive and I am even more ready to seize the moment. Everything has fallen perfectly into place for me, this will be my coronation as world champion and I am going to realise my dream by beating the most decorated of the current world title holders. I am more than happy to achieve my goal in Russia and I think it is only right that a great world champion such as Kovalev is given the opportunity to defend in his home country. He has earned that right. What I know is that on August 24 another world title belt will be under British ownership and I will have done it the hard way, one that nobody will be able to question.”

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Yarde to topple ex-champ Kovalev? Get Sergey Kovalev v Anthony Yarde tips

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