Anthony Yarde is not one to brush off his losses, as is often the case in boxing.
On the contrary, the light heavyweight contender from London credits his two career defeats as having an ultimately positive effect on his career.
It is hard to argue Yarde on that point, given that he will be given a second title shot on Jan. 28 at OVO Arena Wembley in London when he takes Artur Beterbiev for three of the four 175-pound belts.
Yarde suffered his first career loss at the hands of Sergey Kovalev in 2019 in Kovalev’s hometown of Chelyabinsk, Russia, in what was Yarde’s first title opportunity. After nearly stopping Kovalev in the middle rounds, Yarde ended up getting knocked out in the 11th round.
Three fights later, Yarde picked up another loss, this time to countryman Lyndon Arthur by split decision; most observers believed it was a clear-cut win for Arthur. Yarde, however, avenged that loss in style, stopping Arthur in four rounds in their rematch in December 2021.
“I wouldn’t really know what I’m made of if I hadn’t been through certain losses,” Yarde told BT Sport. “If I hadn’t been through certain trials and tribulations. It’s a blessing. Look at the stages I’ve been in in boxing."
Yarde got a close-up view of Beterbiev last year, when he travelled to New York City to see the Russian demolish Joe Smith Jr. in two rounds at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater. Yarde said he was elated to discover that he had numerous fans in the city.
“When I went to New York, people were running up to me, ‘Anthony Yarde, man, you a bad motherf----r,’” Yarde recalled. “‘I love you man, I watch your fights. I love your style.’
“You dream about all this stuff and now it’s here you embrace it. I’ve always had that belief that it was gonna come. Same as this.”
The 31-year-old Yarde (23-2, 22 KOs) also addressed criticism regarding the quality of the opponents he has faced throughout the course of his career.
“As I said in the press conference, I’m gonna stop cherry-picking, because people always have their opinion,” Yarde said. “‘Oh, Anthony’s always fighting nobody. Who’s this guy he’s fighting.’
“When I win this fight (against Beterbiev), I’m gonna remain humble and not listen to the naysayers or the positive sayers. It’s just an opinion. The positive sayer is gonna say, ‘that fight’s out of the way, when are you fighting Bivol?’ ‘When you fighting this guy?’ ‘When you fighting Mike Tyson?’”