Anthony Yarde will meet Lyndon Arthur in an eagerly-anticipated rescheduled showdown in London on December 5, live on BT Sport.
Yarde (20-1, 19 KOs) and Arthur (17-0, 12 KOs) were set to meet on April 11 and then on July 11, prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, with both overcoming Dec Spelman in the interim behind closed doors and the pair will now square off for Arthur’s Commonwealth light heavyweight title.
Arthur went the distance with Spelman in a one-side victory in July, whilst Yarde stopped the former English champion in six rounds in September, but ‘King’ Arthur, who defended his crown for the first time after beating Emmanuel Anim to claim the belt last October, admits he is relishing the prospect of taking on his rival.
“What a great fight it is to be involved in,” Arthur said.
“Being behind closed doors means there would have been a few stare downs at press conferences by now, but it takes nothing away when we fight.
“A lot of boxing fans are in lockdown, they all have an opinion and they will all tune in to BT Sport. I’m excited knowing that.
“I could have stopped Spelman if I upped the pressure. I was in first gear and not even blowing.”
Former world title challenger, Yarde put in a valiant display for the WBO crown against Sergey Kovalev last August, before being halted in the 11th round.
The Londoner returned with a two round demolition over Diego Jair Ramirez in February before powering past Spelman and the 29-year-old has promised another destructive display.
“I hope and believe this will deliver a thrilling end to what has been a difficult year for everybody,” Yarde explained.
“Top domestic fights like this are what boxing fans tell us they want and I am happy to be part of what will be a special night in London – a special place for a special fight.
“From my side, I will be about bringing entertainment for the viewers, spectacular action and a devastating finish. I want to make it a memorable fight that will be remembered for a long time.
“I am totally focused only on this fight and I am treating it just as seriously as I would for a world title.
“I take every fight seriously and right now I am just working towards getting the job done in the best fashion.”
Arthur, who has 12 stoppages from his 17 wins, insists he is not concerned about his rival’s fearsome knockout streak and believes ‘The Beast From The East’ should be wary of his power.
“Yarde has power, but to nullify it I will make sure I am not there to be hit. Everyone can hit hard if you stand in front of them,” the 29-year-old insisted.
“I have power as well and he needs to nullify mine. I’m not worried about his power.
“The two 12 rounders against Anim and Spelman have brought me on leaps and bounds. It’s 24 rounds experience in two 12 rounds fights. You cannot buy that.
“I’ve watched Yarde’s two fights since Kovalev and he hasn’t shown anything different. You get what you see.”
WBC heavyweight world champion, Tyson Fury was set to headline the bill, but his proposed defence against Agit Kabayel fell through, with the ‘Gypsy King’ announcing he will return next year.
The card, which comes a week after another highly-anticipated domestic clash in Daniel Dubois’ showdown against Joe Joyce, marks the conclusion of the two-week celebration of the Hall Of Fame Promoter, Frank Warren’s first ever British Boxing Board of Control show.
And the 68-year-old believes the victor of the headline bout on December 5 will be on course for a shot at the WBO world title.
“It will be a memorable occasion for me personally, but to promote two world class boxers in the Queensberry stable going against each other is the icing on the cake,” Warren said.
“Anthony and Lyndon agreeing to fight tells you about their confidence levels and how they feel their place is in the pecking order.
“I believe the winner will become the mandatory for the WBO title.
“There are two guarantees. Anthony and Lyndon will deliver excitement and the winner will be in the world title picture in 2021.
“The fight was first scheduled for April. Sadly the pandemic has kept delaying it. Of course I would have loved a packed house, but we couldn’t delay it any further.”