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Panel: How do you see Sergey Kovalev vs. Anthony Yarde playing out this weekend?

Lyndon Arthur on Anthony Yarde
Yarde is in Russia to challenge Kovalev for the WBO light-heavyweight title Action Images
This week the panel are asked to predict how Sergey Kovalev vs. Anthony Yarde will turn out, and to analyse Billy Joe Saunders hopes against two superstars

Callum Johnson (British light-heavyweight champion)

I think Kovalev vs. Yarde is a very interesting fight. It interests me not only because they are light-heavyweights but because we’ll get to see how good Yarde actually is. I believe he is very good, and I give him a great chance in this fight.

Andy Clarke (Boxing commentator)

A Kovalev win is the only logical choice. People are suggesting that Yarde is getting Kovalev at a good time but in his last fight the Russian comprehensively outboxed Eleider Alvarez, so I don’t subscribe to that theory. We don’t know how good Yarde is but on Saturday we’ll find out. I wish him and Tunde Ajayi all the very best.

Wayne Alexander (Former European super-welterweight champion)

Kovalev is a better fighter all round. He has world-class power and can box a bit as well. He has mixed it with the best in the division for the last six years while Yarde still has to prove himself at world level. Unless Kovalev becomes shot overnight I see him winning by wide decision or late stoppage. I hope I’m wrong, though. I’ve been friends with Tunde Ajayi for over 20 years and a Yarde win would be a magnificent achievement for him.

Alan Hubbard (Boxing journalist)

Yarde can get the measure of Kovalev if he is bold enough to jump on him from the bell, keep up the pressure and doesn’t give him an inch. The ‘Krusher’ is not the brute he was when he dismantled Nathan Cleverly but he has the advantage of being in his Russian backyard. He can be and has been beaten and Yarde can pressure him to defeat. But I fear we may be in for another Wilder vs. Fury type of scoring controversy.

sergey kovalev
Yarde has to get past Kovalev to become world champion (Stacey Verbeek)

How would Billy Joe Saunders fare against Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez?

Callum Johnson

You couldn’t write Billy Joe Saunders off against either of them, to be fair. Obviously, Billy Joe would start as an underdog against both – and it’s hard to pick against Canelo or GGG at middleweight, no matter the opponent – but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t got a chance.

Andy Clarke

Assuming the fights are at middleweight, which is the weight I believe Saunders should fight at, then I make GGG vs Saunders 60-40 in Golovkin’s favour whereas Canelo vs Saunders I’d put at 80-20 to the Mexican. I’d very much like to see both fights.

Wayne Alexander

As highly as I rate Saunders, I would have to bet against him beating GGG or Alvarez, two champions who have mixed it with the world’s elite for years. I think Billy Joe would bring out the best in both fighters with his slippery skillful southpaw style, but experience would be decisive. I would expect GGG and Alvarez to win on points in good, exciting fights.

Alan Hubbard

When Billy Joe danced his way to victory over David Lemieux, I labelled him boxing’s Billy Elliot. A repeat performance could see him beat either Golovkin or Alvarez and he is probably the only super-middleweight out there who could do so. But he must stay in shape and stay on his toes.

Billy Joe Saunders
Saunders wants to nail a big-name fight

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