Team Yarde All Teeth and Giggles for Kovalev Clash!
Ahead of his August 24 collision with Sergey “The Krusher” Kovalev (33-3-1, 28 KO’s), Anthony Yarde (18-0, 17 KO’s) is full of jokes and smiles.
He will challenge Kovalev, in Russia, for his WBO light heavyweight title in his first attempt at championship glory. Despite taking on such a formidable foe in hostile enemy territory, Yarde is as carefree as can be.
In fact, the UK upstart is so jovial that it wouldn’t be out of place to wonder if he is taking his upcoming assignment seriously enough.
INNOVATION OR IGNORANCE?
Sure, the Krusher has three losses on his resume, with two belonging to Andre “SOG” Ward (32-0, 16 KO’s) and a single defeat to Eleider Alvarez. However, not only would Ward retire undefeated, the California-born master boxer proved himself to be one of this generation’s best fighters.
There is little shame in losing to a superior technician such as Ward.
After his loss to Alvarez, Kovalev bounced back and avenged the setback six months later. Truthfully speaking, Yarde has not fought a professional anywhere near the skill level of Ward, Kovalev or Alvarez.
Although, his critically anemic resume and fighting in the Russian danger zone are not the only variables that have on-lookers raising a curious eyebrow at Team Yarde’s joviality.
“Every fight that I’ve had so far has been just as important and they got me to this stage, and I’m not putting any extra pressure on myself.
“It’s just going to be the same thing. The only difference is it’s going to be going out in Russia.”
Anthony Yarde – WBO #1 Light Heavyweight Contender
In preparation for the most important and dangerous fight of his career, Yarde’s chief second Tundy Ajayi, is on record stating they would not bring in any sparring partners.
According to Ajayi, between himself and his assistant, Ade Olayinka, there would be no need for additional sparring in camp. To say the least, this is a very novel and unorthodox train of thought in this modern era of boxing. Naturally, there is a small army of detractors ridiculing this choice in tactics.
“I’m his best sparring partner. There’s no such thing as a bad student; only bad teachers.
“If Anthony Yarde can deflect my shots, then there’s nobody that can touch him […] we’ve got this far not sparring with no guys. So why all of a sudden am I going to start changing our preparation?
“We already know this guy gasses out after four rounds. We already know he can’t take body shots, we already know he’s been knocked out.
“We’ve been in with someone with a higher KO percentage. Maybe he hasn’t been in with someone at that level, but Anthony is knocking out Kovalev, easy.
“When we do it, I don’t want to hear anyone’s excuses.”
Tunde Ajayi- Yarde’s Chief Second
A DEADLY LEGACY
If Team Yarde emerges victorious following a dominant performance, then they will deserve all the accolades that come with it. However, if they are defeated, which is more likely, then they will be bathed in a scornful river of “we told you so” themed criticism.
Nevertheless, the sheer amount of skinning and grinning that Yarde and his instructors engage in is rather disconcerting. Kovalev is the same fighter who literally “caught a body” while fighting in Russia.
On December 5, 2011, the Krusher fought a brave fighter by the name of Roman Simokov (19-2-1, 9 KO’s) and beat him by way of seventh round technical knockout.
Directly after the match, Simokov was entered in the hospital. Several days later, he died from injuries sustained in his prizefight.
Long in the tooth or not, the Krusher is no laughing matter! The fight with Yarde will be his second in Russia since the tragic fatality.
Like Anthony Joshua, Yarde is a heavily-muscled boxer who looks the part but has yet to prove his worth against elite competition.
Without question, Yarde has never faced anyone with Kovalev’s experience, jab or power. For the UK born challenger, his August 24 bout will be the literal definition of ‘sink or swim’!
Let’s see if his trainer Ajayi’s atypically preparation methods have Yarde ready for the big stage.
3kingsboxing will continue to provide coverage on this swiftly approaching match.
By: Bakari Simpson