Anthony Yarde will be a 'breath of wind' against Artur Beterbiev

Anthony Yarde describes deadly Artur Beterbiev as ‘wrecking ball’ after knocking out Joe Smith Jr inside two rounds… but claims he will be the ‘breath of wind he cannot catch’ ahead of light-heavyweight title bout

  • Artur Beterbiev beat Joe Smith Jr. to set up a world title bout with Anthony Yarde 
  • The light-heavyweight clash will take place in London in four months time
  • Yarde admits Beterbiev is a ‘wrecking ball’ but says he will be a ‘breath of wind’ 

From his close-up perch at ringside in the Big Apple, the Yarde Bird had the most vivid possible view of how high and hard he will have to fly in London Town four months hence if he is to become a world champion at the second attempt.

Anthony Yarde’s date with destiny and the deadly Artur Beterbiev is now set in stone after the Russian’s brutal annexation of his third world light-heavyweight title on Saturday.

Commendably composed and already preparing himself for heroics to come in October, Yarde professed himself unabashed by the prospect of facing the most devastating destroyer seen in a ring since a young Mike Tyson was unleashed.

Anthony Yarde was at MAdison Square Gardens to watch Artur Beterbiev beat Joe Smith Jr.

New York had come out in force to support Joe Smith Jr. in historic Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, but having joined them in watching their local boy mown down inside two violent rounds, Yarde, 30, said: ‘Beterbiev is a wrecking ball but I will be the breath of wind he cannot catch.

‘Yes, he is the best of the light-heavyweight champions now, but even in this brief fight I saw plenty of ways of beating him. I would be more afraid fighting a master boxer. This man has serious power but he’s not as fast as I expected. This is a challenge I will relish.’

When he heard the Russian being described as ‘a monster’, Yarde issued a reminder of his own ring name: The Beast from the East. East London, that is.

Russian-Canadian Beterbiev now holds each of the IBF, WBO and WBC belts in the division

Beterbiev, 37, was sanguine about fighting on away turf in London: ‘No problem,’ he said about the prospect.

Such is the inevitable confidence of the man who has now won all 18 of his professional fights. All by knockout.

The beating was relentless for Smith from the opening bell on Saturday. It then quickly became a cauldron of hurt before oblivion with 49 seconds of the second round remaining.

Beterbiev knocked out New York native Smith jr. with 49 seconds left of the second round

As the WBO belt joined the WBC and IBF belts around Beterbiev’s waist, there was no denying that the man who now fights out of Canada is the greatest light-heavyweight on the planet.

Regardless of whether or not The Beast from East London can stun the Monster of Moscow via Montreal, he deserves enormous credit for volunteering to try.

Meanwhile, Anthony Joshua’s world heavyweight title rematch with Oleksandr Usyk has been confirmed for August 20 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, as Sportsmail exclusively reported on June 11. There will be an £80million purse.

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