Anthony Yarde v Lyndon Arthur for WBO Mandatory
Well it looks like the gods of good fortune are shining down on light heavyweight boxer Anthony Yarde (19-1, 18 KO’s). Back in August of 2019, Yarde took what most thought was an early career title fight against the aging but still dangerous WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey “The Krusher” Kovalev (16-0, 12 KO’s).
SHOOTING FOR THE STARS
At the time, Yarde only had 18 fights to his professional credit and had fought no one anywhere near the caliber of Kovalev. Throughout the industry, the overwhelming chatter held that the amiable London pugilist was biting off well more than he could chew. This was somewhat true and somewhat false.
Once in the ring with the Krusher, Yarde performed better than the greater majority believed he would. Not only did Yarde make an excellent account of himself, he nearly stopped Kovalev before completely gassing out and getting stopped himself in the 11th round. From the outside looking in, it appeared as if Yarde took the loss in stride and suffered little to no mental damage.
Roughly five months after his first career defeat to the Krusher, Yarde bounced back with a swift two-round destruction of Diego Jair Ramirez (4-49-3, 3 KO’s). Now Yarde is preparing to go head-to-head with Lyndon “King” Arthur (16-0, 12 KO’s). The two will face one another on April 11 at the famous O2 Arena located in Greenwich, London.
A CHANCE FOR REDEMPTION
While Arthur is undefeated, with an impressive knockout ratio, he has not fought anyone anywhere near the upper echelon of competition. Regardless of his lack of top tier competition at the elite level, at the official press announcement for the fight, Yarde’s promoter Frank Warren of Queensberry Promotions, revealed that the Yarde v Arthur victor would be named the mandatory for the vacant WBO light heavyweight title.
“The winner of this fight will become the mandatory for the WBO title. It’s a box-off between four guys. Whoever wins this [Yarde v Arthur], they will be in the mandatory position. So it’s important for them…the winner has a lot to aim for.” ~Frank Warren, Queensberry Promotions
In his next bout directly after facing Yarde, Kovalev found himself on the ugly end of a brutal knockout at the hands of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KO’s). Shortly after usurping the Krusher’s WBO strap, Canelo vacated the belt, leaving it in it’s currently vacant status. Now that a shot at this meaningful title is on the line, the prizefight with Ramirez has become that much more important.
It would obviously be a major accomplishment if Yarde could capture the WBO title later in 2020. Surely, he would have preferred to have toppled Kovalev to claim the belt. However, Yarde is now in position to potentially obtain two title opportunities within a year’s time. This is definitely not an opportunity that Yarde wants to squander!
By: Bakari Simpson