Anthony Yarde can write his name alongside Andy Ruiz Jr and Buster Douglas as one of boxing’s greatest underdogs with Sergey Kovalev win – The Sun
ANTHONY YARDE will write his name alongside Andy Ruiz Jr and Buster Douglas as one of boxing’s greatest underdogs if he can topple fearsome Sergey ‘Krusher’ Kovalev tonight.
Hackney-born Yarde only started boxing aged 19, squeezed in just 12 amateur fights, and is an untested 18-0 pro after pummelling a list of unknowns.
But he has earned a shot at the 36-year-old WBO light-heavyweight champ and modern great — even agreeing to travel to his hometown of Chelyabinsk in deepest, darkest Russia.
And the Bow man believes a shock victory would rank close to Ruiz’s amazing June 1 win over Anthony Joshua and the 1990 fight his hero Mike Tyson lost to 42-1 outsider Douglas.
Yarde, 28, said: “On paper it can be put down as an impossible task.
“I believe some things are labelled impossible until they are done.
“You can call it destiny — but I am 100 per cent confident that I will go in there and pull it off.
“When I do pull this off, it will be one of the biggest upsets in history.
“I’ve had 12 amateur fights, 18 pro fights and I’ve gone to Russia.
“Not just to Russia but to Chelyabinsk, home of Sergey Kovalev, who has an impressive resume.
“The fact I’ve come to his backyard, I feel it will go down as one of the best results ever.”
Yarde has either been very unlucky on his travels or the victim of some unwelcoming Soviet skullduggery.
Since landing on Monday night he has suffered lost luggage, cold showers and dodgy dinners that would have unsettled a weaker mind.
After recovering his bags, Yarde added: “I’m staying in a hotel, so there are no cooking facilities for my own food I brought over — I coped with the buffet.
“Out of everybody on the flight out here, it was only me and my trainer’s stuff that didn’t turn up.
“We were supposed to have priority but when the luggage wasn’t there, there were some raised eyebrows and I thought, ‘This is not an accident’.
“Other than the luggage going missing and no hot water in my bedroom, I’ve been happy.”
Yarde’s critics, who question his lack of top-level experience and sparring, thought he would melt when he finally faced off with Kovalev on Thursday.
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Ever since a 2011 fight with Roman Simakov ended in his opponent’s death, Kovalev carries an aura of menace.
But Yarde said: “When you come face-to-face, you get a feeling of what they’re about.
“It has actually boosted my confidence.”
- YARDE faces Kovalev live on BT Sport 2 or via the BT Sport app from 5pm.