Former light heavyweight hegemon (up to 79.4 kg), and now a fighter in the heavy division (up to 90.7 kg), Russian Sergey Kovalev (35-4-1, 29 KOs) talked to a British blog.
conversations was the upcoming Saturday match of the unified light heavyweight champion from Canada Artur Beterbiev (18-0, 18 KOs) against the former opponent of Kovalev Briton Anthony Yard (23-2, 22 KOs). Sergei recalled the vicissitudes of his amateur fight against Beterbiev, the circumstances of the fight against Yard and gave a forecast for the result of Arthur’s next defense.
Artur Beterbiev – Anthony Yarde: forecast and bets for the fight on January 28
— Your compatriot Artur Beterbiev will enter the ring against Anthony Yarde. You shared the ring with both of you, how will their fight go?
— I met Beterbiev in the amateurs. It was the championship of Russia. It was, I think, in 2007. My opinion is that I won that fight. But they raised their hand to him. Then there was a lot of corruption in Russian boxing, and in 2009 I turned pro.
– Did you feel the power of Beterbiev in amateurs? Has he always been strong?
– He is very strong, but I did not feel heavy blows to the head or to the body, because he could not catch me. But I can say one thing – he is really strong by nature, physically strong. And right now he has a lot of experience: from the amateurs, and now he has more than 10 fights as a pro. And all the fights were completed by knockout. He has a lot of experience and great knockout power.
– You fought with Anthony Yarde at home. How did you feel about Anthony Yarde? Was he a good test for you? He caught you with good punches. What do you think Anthony Yarde should do to beat Beterbiev?
– In my opinion, Anthony Yarde is not ready to fight Beterbiev now. He had no real tests, no real fights. He fought me when I was exhausted. Then I had to lose too much weight for the light heavyweight limit. That’s why I moved up a division. Because it was already impossible to do 79.4 kg. 2019 was the most difficult year of my boxing career. Because the first fight was scheduled for June, then rescheduled for August – it was a very, very difficult year for me. Now it has been 3.5 years since our fight. He now has more experience, more physical condition. I think it will be an interesting fight, but in my opinion, Arthur will crush it.
Beterbiev was asked about his readiness to fight Usyk. The knockout response
Are you giving Anthony Yarde any chance?
“When I fought him, I was in trouble somewhere in the seventh or eighth round. It was all because I was emaciated because I needed to lose a lot of weight. I dropped over 7kg for this fight. The last 2 years at light heavyweight have been a disaster for me and I decided to move up. He couldn’t stop me. I think Arthur will finish him in the middle of the fight.
Arthur fought Callum Johnson and Callum dropped him with a left hook. Do you think that Anthony can have the same success, or not at all?
You know, this is boxing. I’m also interested to see their fight this weekend. But in my opinion, Arthur is very strong by nature, and psychologically he has a very, very big background. Two Olympic tournaments, the World Championship – he has a lot of experience, and psychologically he is superior to Anthony Yarde.
– If I owed you 200 pounds, and you had to bet them, in which round would you bet them on Beterbiev’s victory?
– No later than six.
– So any round before the sixth?
– Yes, I think, somewhere in the fifth or sixth, but somewhere like that. They are both strong and smart and it will be interesting to watch this fight. But I think that Beterbiev will crush him until the middle of the fight.
– You are very confident in the forecast and many people also believe that Beterbiev will win.
– It all depends on the preparation. If Beterbiev has appreciated him enough and is ready to fight, then there will be a victory for Artur. And so does Anthony. If he is mentally ready for the fight… It is very important to be mentally prepared. If he is ready psychologically, he will be able to show character. We will see.
I wish them both good luck and let them have a very interesting fight for boxing fans.