Anthony Yarde Aiming For Greatness
On Saturday, August 24, Anthony Yarde (18-0, 17 KO’s) will challenge the formidable WBO world light heavyweight Sergey “The Krusher” Kovalev (33-3-1, 28 KO’s) LIVE on ESPN+ 12:30 PM ET.
Prior to doing so, Yarde has not faced any former world champions, no serious contenders or anything resembling a stern professional test. While those outside of his inner circle view this as the height of insanity, Team Yarde couldn’t care less. By his own estimation, he has made it his life’s ambition to chase goals that onlookers found to be outrageous.
To stack the odds a bit higher, he did not even enjoy a lengthy amateur career. The thick-muscled UK fighter was a late arrival to the game. He did not begin his boxing career until he was 19 years old. For a boxer, that is a terrifically late start in the game.
Most pro fighters can trace their beginnings back to when they were in the seven and eight-year old range. Regardless, not only does Yarde not view this as a detriment, he knew right from the start that he wanted to go pro. This why, even as an amateur, Yarde was determined to pattern his style of fighting after the professionals.
“I just said to Tunde, ‘I’ll be honest with you, I don’t want to be a great amateur, I want to be a great professional! So, I want to practice being a professional from now.’”
On the surface, his plans have seamlessly flowed along to perfection. Yarde is undefeated, has a 99% knockout percentage and is staring his first title shot in the face. Now, the only thing left to do is win his challenging bout in hostile enemy territory. Granted, that’s a big “if!”
“Perfection don’t exist, but I’m still a perfectionist. I feel like if you seek perfection you’ll get close. Same way is if you shoot beyond the stars at least you land somewhere good […] but if you focus on something mild, you’re gonna get probably under mild.
“So again, I shoot for things that are ridiculous, things that don’t make sense.”
Luckily for him, he is the type of person who can easily block out the nay-saying of whatever doubters may enter into his circle of consciousness. That will be an invaluable tool as he enters the arena and marches down the isle to the ring.
Whenever Yarde and his team have been caught on camera, it’s rather difficult to dismiss how jovial everyone is. Only teenagers who smoked their first joint can compete with the amount of joking, laughing and clowning that this crew engages in.
Yet again, for Yarde this is nothing out of the ordinary. Well before his boxing career began, the young lion was always a fun loving, jokester and he sees no reason to switch anything up now.
“I’m one of them people! I’m driven by challenges and again to me it’s just fun. Literally, all of this is just fun. Going out there and fighting. From when the bell rings, nine times out of ten, everything disappears anyway; it’s just controlling yourself until that moment. […] Once I get going there is no stopping me!”
Now, as the saying goes, it’s time to “put up or shut up!” The training camps have come to a close and we are just a few more mandatory press related events away from staging the fight.
Will the hometown champion, and betting favorite, cut through the brash foreign challenger? Or will Yarde’s lighthearted demeanor and unorthodox training regiment prove to be as good as advertised?
Guess you’ll just have to tune in and see!
3kingsboxing will continue to provide coverage on this rapidly approaching prizefight.
By: Bakari Simpson