Anthony Yarde is as ballsy as they come.
His opponents during the buildup stage of his career were all handpicked and designed to make him look good. Yarde would routinely march to the ring, muscles protruding everywhere, and beat his opponents senseless.
It was good for the cameras but there appeared to be no substance behind him. So, when he was officially given a title shot against Sergey Kovalev in 2019, virtually no one gave him a chance to pull off the upset. And while he ultimately didn’t, he gave Kovalev all he could handle.
Just one year later, thanks to a split decision loss against fringe contender Lyndon Arthur, all of the credibility Yarde built up was thrown by the wayside. Although he did make amends, stopping Arthur in the fourth round in their eventual rematch, it appeared to be career suicide to put Yarde in the ring with Artur Beterbiev.
The light heavyweight unified champ doesn’t smile. He also doesn’t make menacing threats. In fact, he doesn’t say anything at all. With his gloves often soaked in the blood of his opponents, his actions do all of the talking in the ring.
As the opening bell rang in their showdown this past January, fans began making their dinner reservations and planning their vacations. Essentially, Yarde wasn’t given a chance. But as each competitive round ticked by, the dubious voices that once surrounded Yarde began singing a different tune.
The end result wasn’t what he was hoping for, but Yarde believes that he’s proved that he belongs. Later on tonight, at Wembley Arena, the rebuilding process will begin all over again.
Yarde (23-3, 22 KOs) will take his time. He’ll renovate himself brick by brick with the unknowing help of Jorge Silva, his upcoming opponent. There’s still time for Yarde to make his title dreams a reality. When exactly he’ll get his third crack on the championship stage is a question no one can answer. But whether he’s given another chance or not, Yarde is already convinced that he doesn’t exactly need a world title in a sense.
Don’t take that the wrong way. Grabbing that championship trinket is something he wants but the validation that comes along with it, is already in his possession.
“The biggest thing I learned is that I belong there,” Yarde told Boxing Social recently. “I’ve shown that I’m on that level.”