Issue | Opinion | Premium | Jul 23 2019

Yarde is a “very live underdog” against Kovalev on August 24

Former light-heavyweight contender John Scully explains how Anthony Yarde, set to challenge Sergey Kovalev in Russia next month, can pull off the upset
Lyndon Arthur on Anthony Yarde
Yarde is in Russia to challenge Kovalev for the WBO light-heavyweight title Action Images

I THINK it’s very clear that Sergey Kovalev is still one of the top light-heavyweights in the world. Just look at his last fight and how he turned the tables on a good fighter in Eleider Alvarez. Just six months after getting stopped by Alvarez, Kovalev came back with a solid decision victory in the return, which speaks loudly to that fact that he’s still a world-class fighter. Also, after this win, it’s more than likely that he’s in a good place mentally at the moment.

I think Kovalev is likely to have a certain amount of motivation within himself right now, considering that all four major champions in his weight class are Eastern European. I’m sure he’ll be motivated to establish himself in history as the best of that group.

At this stage in his development, I think Anthony Yarde is what you would call a very live underdog in his world title fight against Kovalev. He’s young, strong, 6ft tall and has good power. Although he hasn’t yet faced the top recognisable names in the division, he has impressively done all that’s been asked of him so far against a very solid if not well-known group of opponents over the last couple of years.


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