Unified 175-pound titleholder Artur Beterbiev will defend his belts and seek his 19th knockout in as many fights against Anthony Yarde on Saturday in London (ESPN+).
ARTUR BETERBIEV (18-0, 18 KOS) VS. ANTHONY YARDE (23-2, 22 KOS)
Date: Saturday, Jan. 28
Time: 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT (main event later in show)
Division: Light heavyweights (175 pounds)
At stake: Beterbiev’s IBF, WBC and WBO titles
Pound-for-pound ranking: Beterbiev No. 12
Odds: Beterbiev 7-1 favorite (average of multiple outlets)
Also on the card: Artem Dalakian vs. David Jimenez, flyweights (for Dalakian’s WBA title); Willy Hutchinson vs. Emil Markic, light heavyweights; Karol Itauma vs. Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna, light heavyweights
Prediction: Beterbiev KO 8
Background: Beterbiev and Yarde have knocked out a combined 40 of their 41 victims, a clear indication that both men have unusual punching power. The problem for Yarde could be that Beterbiev has been stopping a higher level of opposition. The 38-year-old Russian won his first title against Enrico Koelling in 2017 and has added two more belts since, all in a span of seven fights. The two-time Olympian is coming off a second-round knockout of Joe Smith Jr. in a title-unification showdown last June. Yarde, a 31-year-old Londoner, was outboxed and then stopped by then-beltholder Sergey Kovalev in his first title fight in 2019. He’s 6-1 since, including an upset split-decision setback against Lyndon Arthur in 2020. He avenged that loss by stopping Arthur in four rounds in their rematch the following year. He followed that with another stoppage of Stefani Koykov last November, his most-recent fight. The Beterbiev-Yarde fight was originally scheduled for October but was pushed back because the champion was injured.
Artur Beterbiev annihilates Joe Smith Jr. in two rounds
Photos: Artur Beterbiev’s brutal second-round knockout of Joe Smith Jr.
view 15 images