British light-heavyweight prospect Anthony Yarde will be putting his unbeaten record on the line against American Travis Reeves at the Royal Albert Hall, with the prospect of a titanic showdown with WBO champion Sergey Kovalev looming large.
Promotor Frank Warren revealed that he expects the governing body to order the bout between ‘Krusher’ Kovalev and Yarde – and that he hopes to bring the contest to the UK.
Kovalev delivered a boxing masterclass against Eleider Alvarez at the second time of asking after he lost his world title to the Colombian in August 2018, but Yarde says he is not fazed by the prospect of facing the Russian juggernaut.
“I feel like I’m ready but again people, they forget – because of my performances so far in the professional game – that I’ve had twelve amateur fights and boxing’s a very unforgiving sport,” he said.
“It’s not just about going out there and winning the world title, I think I can do that, but it’s about the fights you can have afterwards. Being in that position, being mentally and physically ready to fight at world level.
“I know Mike Tyson said that he feared his opponents. Yes, you might fear the occasion, you might fear all these things. What got said to me was ‘do you fear another human being?’ That’s impossible.
“I don’t fear nobody. They say fear either paralyzes you or motivates you. It’s always been a motivator for me.
“Going out there performing, how you’re performing, wanting to be the best person you can possibly be, they’re the only fears that cross your mind, but in terms of fearing another individual, it’s impossible.”
Yarde dismantled Walter Gabriel Sequeira at the Brentwood Centre last time out, dispatching the limited Argentine in the fourth round.
He was then scheduled to fight on the undercard of Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury in Los Angeles in December, but the California State Athletic Commission refused to sanction a new opponent for Yarde after his original challenger pulled out in fight week.
The 27-year-old was then due to fight Mehdi Amar before the Frenchman withdrew and was replaced by Reeves.
But Yarde says that his understanding of boxing politics allows him to stay focused.
“There’s been no frustration at all,” he said.
“For me, I just understand the sport. It happens. Again, it just shows that I’m doing something right.
“If I wasn’t doing something right everyone would be willing to fight me, people wouldn’t be pulling out of fights. People would just be saying ‘I’ll have that’ but because it is hard to match me, it shows I’m doing something right.
“As I’m climbing the ladder and fighting better opposition, it’s still hard to match me. In the amateurs it’s hard to match me. In the professional game it’s hard to match me.
“It shows that I’m doing something right. You talk about fear, I’m instilling fear into people. So that’s always going to be a positive for me.”
Speaking exclusively on BTSport.com after Frank Warren’s Queensbury promotions announced a co-promotional deal with Top Rank and ESPN in the United States, Yarde says he is excited to return stateside.
“It’s always good to expand your audience,” he said.
“ESPN has the biggest audience, most subscribers and is the biggest sports channel in the US.
“They do show a lot of NFL, basketball which is two of the main sports in America and they’re the main sports channel for boxing. It’s a massive platform, I’m looking to be a part of it.
“A part of my career that will always resonate with my heart is the first fight my mum came to which is when I fought in Dallas, Texas on the Canelo undercard which was a big moment for me, big occasion.
“My mum coming out to watch me for the first time, she has a bad back so the fact that she was able to travel, and I got a first-round knockout. It was a special moment.”