Anthony Yarde says he will look to “destroy” the victor of Saturday’s light heavyweight unification clash between Artur Beterbiev and Joe Smith Jr in New York.
Former world title challenger, Yarde, the number one contender with the WBO, will be a keen observer from ringside at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, as Beterbiev puts his WBC and IBF titles on the line against WBO titlist, Smith Jr.
The Londoner, who was halted by then-WBO champion, Sergey Kovalev in his maiden world title challenger in 2018 is keen for a second opportunity and believes he would take it with both hands.
“I am going to keep a close eye on it when they fight each other and I will be looking to destroy the winner,” Yarde told Dev Sahni on the Unibet Lowdown.
“I definitely feel in a better place. The reason I feel in a better place is because I have gained more experience and I have been at that level before.
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“I would say there is not as much pressure, but there is always going to be pressure. I’ve got the experience and, with that being said, I feel like I know what I need to do.”
The 30-year-old went through personal grievance prior to suffering a second professional defeat to Lyndon Arthur in December 2020, losing both his father and grandmother to COVID-19.
‘The Beast From The East’ bounced back a year later to ruthlessly halt his rival in a rematch and regain his number one position and feels he has become a stronger person.
— Frank Warren (@frankwarren_tv) June 17, 2022
“Sometimes it is hard going through things in private, but my one was in public and that is something I have learned,” he added.
“If I do have one regret, when I went through what I did with my family, I should have kept it to myself. I wish I did keep it to myself.
“I feel like it made it harder everyone knowing about it and people posting about it. I got thousands of messages, which was okay in the beginning, but when it got to six or seven months, I was getting reminded when I was trying to heal and it made it harder.
“It has all made me stronger now. When you are a boxer people expect you to have this armour around you to deal with anything.
“The show must go on and you go and fight. Everyone is different and I feel like I handled it well and have become a stronger person.
“I made sure I put a stamp on it [the rematch with Arthur] and, even in the build up, I said it isn’t happening again. That was not happening again.
“My mind was back where it needed to be, I knew what I needed to do.”
Yarde’s promoter, Frank Warren has previously stated that he has an agreement in place with Top Rank – who promote both Beterbiev and Smith Jr – for the winner of Saturday’s showdown to defend their titles against his fighter in London in October.
“We’re right down the road with this with Top Rank,” Warren told IFLTV.
“The winner of that fight, we believe we can put that fight on here [against Yarde].
“I spoke to Bob Arum about it, the day he went to Australia.
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“We want to do that fight and we’ve booked the date, 22nd October. We want to get that fight on.
“The winner has to fight Anthony Yarde. That is what has to happen. The WBO have ordered that.”