Sergey Kovalev v Anthony Yarde
Venue: Traktor Sport Palace, Chelyabinsk Date: Saturday, 24 August
Coverage: Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website

Undefeated Briton Anthony Yarde says Sergey Kovalev’s experience will count for little when he faces the WBO light-heavyweight champion on Saturday.

Yarde will challenge for his first world title in Kovalev’s hometown of Chelyabinsk, Russia.

The Russian, 36, has contested a world title in each of his last 15 fights.

“This is a fight of experience and youth,” said Yarde, 28. “Experience plays a part but how you perform on the night is what matters.”

The Londoner, 28, made his professional debut in 2015 and beat Travis Reeves in March for his 17th knockout win from 18 fights.

“Where I’ve come from, I rose very quickly to be here,” he said. “I’m happy to be at this level and I’m going to make the most of it.

“I’m going to focus on myself, be the best I can be and get the knockout victory, because that’s what I feel I need to do to win the fight.”

‘Lions in the camp’ has long been a mantra for Yarde and his team. But at the pre-fight news conference Kovalev said: “He calls himself a lion but, to me, he is a cub. He is still young. I will get rid of his baby fur so he runs away back home!

“He has a good knockout rate, he thinks that he’ll knock me out. But on Saturday we’ll show everybody what will be.

“The plan is to have all the belts and become an absolute champion. We have four champions in our division and it would be great to decide who is the strongest.”

Kovalev, who has a record of 33 wins, three defeats and one draw, also confirmed he has been in talks about a potential fight with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez after the Mexican was stripped of his IBF middleweight world title.

“Yes, we had an offer, a substantial one,” he added. “It is too early to talk about that, let’s talk after Saturday night.

“My primary task is to defend the title. If the fight is still interesting for Canelo, then OK.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here