Boxing News At Five | Apr 10 2019

Boxing News at Five: Horn says Tszyu isn’t as keen on fight as he sounds, “terms agreed” for Kovalev to defend against Yarde

Jeff Horn warns Tim Tszyu not to bite off more than he can chew, and Sergey Kovalev and Anthony Yarde move closer to WBO title fight
sergey kovalev
Stacey Verbeek

IT hasn’t taken long for Tim Tszyu to make his mark in professional boxing, following in the footsteps of his legendary father Kostya.

The talented super-welterweight has won 12 in a row since turning professional in December 2016 and will fight Joel Camilleri on May 15 for the Australian title. He has also impressed the likes of Freddie Roach, who labelled him a “gun”, and signalled his intention to one day fight former WBO world welterweight champion Jeff Horn.

Tszyu, the IBF number 15, said he wants to fight Horn after first beating fellow Australians Dwight Ritchie and Michael Zerafa, both of whom are ranked above Tszyu in the IBF rankings, but Horn, the wanted man, isn’t so sure Kostya’s kid wants to be mixing it with him just yet.

“It’s all good to call me out, but I don’t think they are as keen as they say,” Horn said to Grantlee Kieza. “Tim will get better in time, but I feel as soon as he faces someone half decent as a boxer he will have trouble.

“He is so straight down the line that he doesn’t have much when it comes to angles. Hopefully he does well in his career because he’s a nice kid. But if he wants to fight me, let’s go.”

Just as Tim Tszyu, 12-0 (10), appears one for the future, that fight, Tszyu vs. Horn, probably won’t happen anytime soon. When it does, though, Australia will no doubt grind to a halt.

Jeff Horn


According to Top Rank head honcho Bob Arun, light-heavyweights Sergey Kovalev and Anthony Yarde have agreed terms for a WBO world title fight in Russia in either June or July.

There has been no official announcement but both parties are said to now be finalising the last details of the fight.

“Frank Warren and Yarde have agreed to terms and we’re getting an appropriate date in June or July for that fight,” Arum told Boxing Social. “Everything is a go and an announcement will be made shortly.

“I met with Kovalev’s manager, Egis Klimas, today and Egis said Yarde had agreed to terms.”

As positive as this news is, it’s still hard to imagine Yarde, the WBO’s number one contender, finding himself in Russia this summer opposing one of the most feared punchers in the sport. Then again, stranger things have happened, and, if the belief in Yarde runs that deep, perhaps they will take a chance on Kovalev being near the end of his career and thus there for the taking.

“I don’t know Yarde from anybody, but Frank says he’s a very competent fighter – an African kid, very strong,” said Arum, who confirmed the fight would take place in Russia. “It will be a good fight with Kovalev. But truthfully, I’ve never seen him fight.”

One could argue going unseen has, for Yarde, been the problem for too long. Though an undoubted talent, he needs to step up and show the world what he can do, and he needs to make the move sooner rather than later. The Londoner appears good enough; certainly too good for his recent competition.

Whether his moment in arrives in Russia against Kovalev, or somewhere else against someone else, remains to be seen. But Yarde, you suspect, is as ready now, at 18-0 (17) and 27 years of age, as he’ll ever be.

Anthony Yarde vs Sergey Kovalev