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Light heavyweight king Artur Beterbiev readies for London showdown against Anthony Yarde

King Artur is ready to light up London.

WBC/IBF/WBO light heavyweight world champion Artur Beterbiev (18-0, 18 KOs), boxing’s only world champion with a 100 percent knockout rate, will battle England’s big-punching Anthony Yarde (23-2, 22 KOs) on Saturday evening at OVO Arena Wembley. Beterbiev-Yarde and undercard bouts will stream live and exclusively in the U.S. on ESPN+ at 3:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. PT.

Beterbiev returns to London for the first time since he represented Russia at the 2012 Olympics. He lost a close decision to Oleksandr Usyk in the quarterfinals of the heavyweight bracket, which concluded his amateur career. Beterbiev has resided in Montreal for more than a decade and fought his first eight pro bouts in Canada.

He captured the IBF title in 2017, claimed the WBC crown in 2019 with a thrilling knockout over Oleksandr Gvozdyk, and added the WBO strap last June with a second-round bludgeoning of Joe Smith Jr.

Yarde does not have Beterbiev’s amateur pedigree, but he holds a claim as one of boxing’s pound-for-pound fiercest punchers. He has won his last three bouts, including a 2021 fourth-round knockout over Lyndon Arthur, who toppled Yarde by split decision in 2020.

Yarde fought for a world title once before, succumbing via an 11th-round knockout to Sergey Kovalev after nearly stopping Kovalev in the eighth round.

This is what the main event combatants had to say following Wednesday’s media workout:

Artur Beterbiev

“I had a good camp. I had good sparring. I will try to do my best.”

“My team and I always try to be ready for anything, any strategy.”

“I can’t compare {Yarde} to Joe Smith. It’s a different fight. Joe Smith had a belt at that time. It’s not comparable.”

On a potential Dmitry Bivol fight : “Right now, it’s Saturday night. I only think about Saturday night.”

Anthony Yarde

“If you look at what he’s accomplished so far, it’s amazing, and that’s what amps me up. So, again, I beat him, I deserve some respect.”

“I don’t look at what any other fighter has done {to him}. I don’t look at what he’s done to other fighters. Realistically, all you look at is style, but even that, you can’t take too much from. You

only know once you step in there with a person, and you both shape up and you both start trading leather.”

“He’s never been in a situation where he’s lost. But for me, it’s all about me. That’s the way I am. That’s the way I operate. It’s about me and my legacy. He’s just the person with the belts.”

On the home crowd advantage:

“I just feel like this one feels right. This one feels better. {The Sergey Kovalev fight} didn’t. All that matters is when we get in that ring. Everything that’s said before is all he said, she said possibilities and things like that. When we get in the ring, that’s when we’ll see.”

Subscribe to Top Rank’s YouTube Channel for fight week highlights and exclusive interviews.

Thursday, January 26

Main Event & Undercard Press Conference: Beterbiev vs. Yarde

8 a.m. ET/5 a.m. PT

Friday, January 27

 Live Weigh-In Show: Beterbiev vs. Yarde

9 a.m. ET/6 a.m. PT

Saturday, January 28

 ESPN+ (3:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. PT)

Artur Beterbiev vs. Anthony Yarde, 12 rounds, Beterbiev’s WBC/IBF/WBO Light Heavyweight World Titles

Moses Itauma vs. Marcel Bode, 4 rounds, heavyweight

Artem Dalakian vs. David Jimenez, 12 rounds, Dalakian’s WBA Flyweight World Title

Karol Itauma vs. Ezequiel Maderna, 10 rounds, Vacant WBC International Light Heavyweight Title

Credit: Top Rank 

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