Anthony Yarde vs. Israel Duffus this Saturday on Wilder-Fury card
By Trevor McIntyre: Unbeaten #1 WBO light heavyweight contender Anthony Yarde (17-0, 16 KOs) will reportedly be facing little known Panamanian journeyman fighter Israel Duffus (19-5, 16 KOs) on the Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury card this Saturday, December 1 at the Staples Center, in Los Angeles, California, according to Michael Benson. This is a last minute opponent that has been picked out for Yarde, 27, but it’s a disappointment to the boxing fans. They had expected that Yarde’s management would select a talented fighter that was recognizable to the public.
Duffus, 26, fits neither of those categories. He’s an unknown, and he’s clearly a talented fighter, Duffus is coming off of a one-sided 10 round unanimous decision loss to Charles Foster earlier this month on November 18. Yarde’s fight won’t be shown on the pay-per-view portion of the Showtime card in the States.
Besides his loss to Foster, Duffus has suffered defeats at the hands of Aleksei Papin, Lamont Williams, Troy Artis and Marquice Weston. The good news is Duffus has won eight of his last nine fights since 2017. His only loss lately was to Foster. Sadly, Duffus has never beaten a good fighter during his career. He’s lost a bunch of times, but he’s never beaten anyone good, and the guys he’s lost to aren’t considered good fighters either.
Yarde has taken a lot of criticism from boxing fans for the weak opposition he’s faced since turning pro in 2015, as well as his inflated ranking by the sanctioning bodies. Yarde is currently ranked #1 WBO and #5 IBF. Yarde is ranked above the likes of Marcus Browne, Sergey Kovalev, Joe Smith Jr., Sullivan Barrera, Dominic Boesel, Badou Jack and Callum Johnson.
You would be hard pressed to find one of those fighters that Yarde would beat. All of them on paper would have to be favored if they were to face Yarde. It just makes one wonder what the IBF and WBA are thinking about in ranking Yarde above so many talented and proven fighters in the 175 lb. weight class. The boxing fans see rankings like this, and it just makes them shake their heads in astonishment.
Yarde’s fight against Duffus should be another sure thing win for him, but you never know with him. Yarde was staggered twice by 34-year-old journeyman Tony Averlant last February. Although Yarde did come back to stop Averlant in the 7th, he was getting hurt each time he was hit solidly by him. Averlant is not considered a puncher, but he was hurting Yarde just the same.
Duffus isn’t a good fighter, but his 67% knockout percentage suggests that he’s got some pop in his punches, and he could give Yarde some problems if he sticks around long enough to land some of his big punches on Saturday night. Given the way that Yarde is being matched by his careful promoter, he’s going to be beaten by one of the lesser fighters that he’s being matched against sooner or later. Yarde isn’t good enough to be counted 100 percent to beat the lower level guys he’s being fed.