Anthony Yarde’s trainer, Tunde Ajayi insists his charge will pose Artur Beterbiev a completely different proposition to Joe Smith Jr.
Yarde, the number one contender with the WBO is in line to face unified WBO, WBC and IBF champion, Beterbiev in London in October following his second round destruction of then-WBO titlist Smith Jr in New York on Saturday.
Yarde and Ajayi were ringside at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden and the latter admits he was expecting the 37-year-old to be quicker.
“I was expecting him to be a bit faster last night,” Ajayi told Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions YouTube channel.
“I wasn’t impressed with his speed, matching him up to Anthony’s speed.
“Obviously the power’s inevitably there, but it’s who’s in front of you.
“Joe Smith is not Anthony Yarde and Anthony Yarde is not Joe Smith.
“Different proposition and it will be a different story, but in terms of what I saw last night, it was ok.”
Beterbiev extended his unbeaten professional record to 18-0 with as many knockouts and holds every belt at 175lbs apart from the WBA ‘super’ crown which belongs to Dmitry Bivol.
Yarde is set to receive his second opportunity at a world title, after falling short in his maiden challenge against then-WBO titlist, Sergey Kovalev in August 2019, stopped in the 11th round in Russia.
Ajayi, who trains the 30-year-old alongside former European super middleweight champion, James Cook MBE insists their team will be better prepared for a second world title shot and insists he is not reading into Beterbiev’s fearsome reputation.
“Beterbiev’s been painted as this monster,” he added.
“Someone that is just a machine, but not to me, not to Ant and that’s why we took this trip out here, because we had to see him in the flesh and [we’re] very confident.
“Everything is timing and I think it was the inexperience of myself, our whole team the first time around [against Kovalev].
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“We were just so cocksure and confident that we didn’t even need to study other fighters.
“We just believed in ourselves to the point where we just felt we were invincible.
“So, that first loss taught us a lot, taught us that experience is actually key, even though you can have the greatest knowledge, you can’t rush timing.
“It’s the right time, absolutely.”