It’s another huge acid test again in the career of Anthony Yarde this Saturday evening at the OVO Arena, Wembley, with the Londoner attempting a mammoth task, as he looks to dethrone WBC, IBF and WBO light heavyweight world champion, Artur Beterbiev.
BT Sport televise Beterbiev vs Yarde live in the UK, whilst the fight is available on ESPN+ in the USA.
Frank Warren’s Queensberry promotes alongside Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc.
Beterbiev (18-0, KO18) may not be getting any younger, but none of his opponents in the pro ranks have been able to go the distance him.
A decorated amateur, the 38-year-old turned over in 2013, and was a world champion 12 fights later, halting Enrico Koelling in the final round to take the vacant IBF belt in 2017.
He survived a scare in his first defence, knocked down by Callum Johnson before winning in four, and he added the WBC strap in October 2019, stopping Oleksandr Gvozdyk in ten.
Two low-key defences followed, before Beterbiev became WBO boss in his last fight, where many expected Joe Smith Jr to give him a test, but the American was wiped out in two rounds.
So, the mountain facing Yarde (23-2, KO22) is a huge one.
’The Beast From The East’ built an early career knocking over limited opposition, but was spirited in a losing 2019 effort for the WBO title against Sergey Kovalev, stopped in eleven.
Two comeback wins set up a meeting with domestic rival Lyndon Arthur at the back end of 2020, however the 31-year-old came unstuck, losing a split decision.
Three early victories have sparked a revival, and that included a revenge fourth round knockout of Arthur in their December 2021 rematch, and he was last seen in November 2022, knocking out Stefani Koykov in three in Telford to warm up for this assignment.
Prediction: I can’t see Yarde troubling the champion here, and his best hope would be to catch Beterbiev cold early on. I think Beterbiev will systematically break the challenger down, and force a stoppage after halfway.
Dalakian faces Jimenez in world title clash
The undercard sees a second world title fight, featuring two men not necessarily known to UK fans.
Artem Dalakian fights outside Ukraine for just the second time, as he defends his WBA flyweight title for a sixth time against Costa Rica’s David Jimenez.
Dalakian (21-0, 15 KOs) won the vacant title back in February 2018 against the tried and tested Brian Viloria, winning a wide decision, and has retained five times, four inside the distance, the last a ninth round stoppage of Luis Concepcion in Kiev in November 2021.
View this post on Instagram
Jimenez (12-0, 9 KOs) has only been the twelve round schedule once, and went all dozen rounds with Ricardo Sandoval in his last outing, taking a majority decision victory in July last year.
The victor of this fight could set up a unification with either IBF champion, Sunny Edwards or WBC king, Julio Cesar Martinez.
Prediction: Dalakian may have rust to shake off here, but once he gets in a groove, he should retain with a clear points win.
Itauma makes debut
The sole four rounder comes at heavyweight, where highly-touted amateur star, Moses Itauma makes his much-anticipated debut, and the heavyweight can take out Marcel Bode (2-1, 2 KOs) early.
Hot prospect Karol Itauma (9-0, 7 KOs) goes for a first professional title, and he can take the vacant WBC International light heavyweight title with a stoppage win against Argentina’s Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna (28-10, 18 KOs). Their contest is set for ten.
In six round action, Charles Frankham (6-0, 2 KOs) can extend his unbeaten record on the cards in his super featherweight contest against Joshua Ocampo (8-10-4, 6 KOs).
At featherweight, Umar Khan (5-0) will likely need the distance to see of Sandeep Singh Bhatti (8-5, 1 KO), and at cruiserweight, Tommy Fletcher (3-0, 3 KOs) can take another early scalp, but may need all six rounds against Darryl Sharp (7-96-1, 1 KO).
Sean Noakes (3-0, 1 KO) can halt Santiago Garces (4-12-3, 2 KOs) at welterweight, and Masood Abdullah (7-0, 5 KOs) can win early against Lesther Lara (17-13-2, 7 KOs) in their super featherweight meeting.
Joshua Frankham (6-0, 2 KOs) can outscore Joe Hardy (2-4) at welterweight, whilst Khalid Ali (4-0, 2 KOs) should deal with Ivica Gogosevic (12-44-2, 5 KOs) at super welterweight, inside schedule.