There will be that much more clamour for an Artur Beterbiev vs. Dmitry Bivol clash for undisputed light heavyweight glory if Beterbiev can lay waste to Anthony Yarde on Saturday night. That's when Beterbiev will put his WBC, WBO and IBF world titles on the line against Yarde (23-2, 22 KOs) at the OVO Arena in Wembley, London.
Beterbiev (18-0, 18 knockouts) is coming off a second-round devastation of Joe Smith Jr in June, while Yarde blasted Stefani Koykov for a third-round KO in November, extending his winning streak to three.
With this being a pivotal matchup, DAZN lists the keys to victory for the unified world champ and his game challenger.
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Anthony Yarde’s keys to victory
Attempt to soften Beterbiev up with body shots
His last time out in November, Anthony Yarde did an excellent job of sitting on body shots and really sinking them into the midsection of Stefani Koykov. The debilitating commitment to the body had Koykov grimacing each time he was rocked to the ribs and liver. The attack paved the way for him to lower his hands enough for Yarde to catch him with a whiplashing right uppercut that granted him a third-round KO. Now, Artur Beterbiev is obviously a different calibre fighter, but that shouldn’t discourage Yarde from making deposits to the body in an attempt to soften up the 38-year-old enough to land a meaningful shot upstairs.
Don’t get too overzealous when pressuring
By all means, Yarde could and should bring the pressure to Beterbiev. However, he’s got to be cautious when stalking a lethal puncher like the unified light heavyweight world champion. That means forward-fighting methodically and extremely consciously at every movement. One false move against Beterbiev and he could make you taste the canvas even while punching off his back foot. Beterbiev's 100 percent knockout rate is proof of that.
Go with higher guard, watch for Beterbiev’s right hook around it
Yarde has a penchant of keeping his guard around his pectorals often. Doing this against Beterbiev could be the perfect opportunity the defending champion needs to throw a damaging right hook. Yarde must show a higher, tighter guard. Even if he does, Beterbiev is an expert at wrapping his right hook around an opponent’s guard. But at least Yarde would put himself in a position to handle the forceful weapon better if he can brace for the impact.
Artur Beterbiev’s Keys to Victory
Catch Yarde coming in With a Counterpunch
Part of what makes Artur Beterbiev so dangerous is his ability to sit on a power counterpunch even while being walked down. Just ask Joe Smith Jr. When the New York native attempted to pressure Beterbiev during their June 2022 tilt, the unified light heavyweight world champion calmly assessed the situation and blasted Smith with a raucous right counter hook for a buckling knockdown. Watch for him to time and do the same Saturday night if Yarde shows that hunger to stalk.
Load up and detonate that short right hook
Beterbiev has the kind of bang in his right hand to disintegrate opponents into debris — not to mention shadows of their former selves thereafter. If he senses that Yarde is a bit too overzealous and catches him with that compact right hook, it could spell the beginning of the end for the challenger and more momentum and noise toward a Beterbiev vs. Bivol showdown for undisputed light heavyweight glory.
Piece together and let relentless combinations go
Simply put: Once Beterbiev has any opponent hurt, he often turns into a bashing, clubbing machine. That means right hooks, as aforementioned, left hooks and uppercuts that all do damage and end fights. It’s a no-brainer — the moment Beterbiev lands a significant right hook, look for him to mash the dash on a power display that can put an end to Yarde’s night. It’s what Beterbiev does as one of the best power punchers in boxing.