By Jake Tiernan: Promoter Frank Warren is pleased with the performance from Anthony Yarde in a losing effort against IBF, WBC & WBO light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev last Saturday night at the OVO Arena in London, England.
Warren feels that Yarde (23-3, 22 KOs) showed that he’s a world class fighter by hanging with the unbeaten Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs) and being ahead at the time the contest was halted in the eighth round.
Warren was so impressed with the 31-year-old Yarde’s performance that he says he will speak with Top Rank promoter Bob Arum about matching him against former WBO 175-lb champion Joe Smith Jr (28-4, 22 KOs).
It’s unclear whether Warren wants to make that fight next or after a couple of confidence boosters for Yarde. Facing a big puncher like Smith might not be the wisest thing for Yarde to do after getting knocked out by Beterbiev.
You’ve got to assume that Smith will stick around long enough to land a lot of hard shots to the head of Yarde, and he won’t take it easy on him in the early going the way Beterbiev did.
Marc Ramsay, the trainer for Beterbiev, said that Artur didn’t start fighting aggressively until the seventh, and that’s when he hurt Yarde. In the eighth, Beterbiev finished what he’d started in the previous round.
Smith wouldn’t take his time before going after Yarde’s chin, and who knows if he could hold up under that kind of firepower?
Beterbiev’s experience showed
“Yeah, he got good resilience, and he showed it, and he’s a good boxer. He’s very good at what he does when he gets in the corner, and he slips and turns into the corner,” said Frank Warren to iFL TV about Artur Beterbiev with the way he was turning Anthony Yarde in the corner and beating the stuffing out of him.
“He’s very clever with what he does, but he’s got a wealth of experience, a wealth of experience,” Warren said about Beterbiev. “He’s got massive amateur experience, and that was his 19th pro fight, and massive experience he’s got has stood him in good stead.
“After that performance, you’ve got to fancy him against any of the others,” Warren said about Yarde. “Hopefully, those two [Beterbiev & Dmitry Bivol] will get it on, and then we’ll see what happens. All Anthony has to do is keep busy and keep winning.
“If he had more amateur experience, it would have held him in good stead. He’s had 12 amateur fights and Beterbiev 300. I thought it was a magnificent fight. The courage he showed, the skill he showed. He [Yarde] hurt him a couple of times. They both got caught; you knew they’d both been in a fight,” Warren said.
Yarde was in front
“It was a throwback fight. It was a sort of pendulum type of fight for a while,” said Warren. “He [Yarde] was in front, I made him in front, and the two judges that made him in front were neutral. They weren’t British or Americans. The American judge had him [Yarde] in front.
“Had it been somebody else, he would have been world champion. If he’d have been in there with Joe Smith, he’d have been world champion. He’s got two world title fights with that limited experience,” Warren said about Yarde.
“If it had been another champion like Joe Smith, I would have fancied him to have won the fight and gained more experience before you go up against a fighter like Beterbiev. He’s 31 and a very young 31. It was a magnificent fight and a magnificent effort from him.
“He’s gained a lot of respect from it. He said that was the toughest fight he ever had, and that tells you a lot about Anthony. He did hurt him a couple of times, but he’s a tough guy, Beterbiev, and he’s an extremely good fighter.
“In the first round, he was throwing some nice jabs, and then he caught him with three really good left hooks, one after another. I said he was a better boxer than people give him credit for, and he showed that. It is in some ways down to experience, and it is also. He’s [Yarde] jumped up a level from where he’s been, and now he’s shown he’s world class,” said Warren.
What’s next for Yarde?
“I know he got stopped. Having said that, he was in front, and he proved that he was in that company,” Warren said about Yarde. “Both of them were taking really good shots, and you were on the edge of your seat watching it. I wanted Anthony to win, but he’s done himself and British boxing proud.
“He’s a young 31, and I’m convinced he can do it. He paced himself better. That’s where he’s at world class. I thought that if he got his tactics right, he could have won the fight. That was before the fight. On the night, the better man won, but he certainly showed that he was in that class.
“He gave him [Beterbiev] a tough, tough fight. You only had to look at him after the fight. You look at Beterbiev’s face; you know the punishment he took. I’m going to speak to Bob [Arum] about it. That would be a great fight to make,” said Warren about matching Yarde against former WBO light heavyweight champion Joe Smith Jr next.
“I’m sure his management have a different opinion, but that would be a great fight to make. I was very proud of what he did,” said Warren.