Sergey Kovalev vs. Anthony Yarde set for Aug.24 in Russia
By Kenneth Friedman: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is reporting that Sergey Kovalev vs. Anthony Yarde is set for August 24 in Russia, according to Mike Coppinger [@TheAthleticBOX]. Saul Canelo Alvarez is still in play for a fight against Kovalev in September.
Arum further states that if the Kovalev vs. Alvarez fight is made for September, then a step aside payment would be given to Yarde (18-0, 17, and he would then face unbeaten #2 WBO Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez while he waits for the Kovalev-Canelo fight to play out.
Tough choice for Yarde
It would likely need to be a fairly big step aside payment given to Yarde, 27, to get him to agree to step aside so that the Kovalev vs. Canelo fight can take place. Ramirez (40-0, 26 KOs) is a former WBO super middleweight champion, and he would have a good chance of beating Yarde.
These are the choices for Yarde:
- Take the step aside fee
- Turn down Ramirez fight as part of the deal
- Sit and wait for Canelo-Kovalev and face winner
- Agree to step aside fee and fight Gilberto Ramirez
It’s not a great deal for Yarde to agree to a step aside payment if it involves him having to stay busy battling a talented fighter like Ramirez. That would be the equivalent of a title shot for Yarde, because Ramirez is one of the best fighters in the 175 pound weight class now that he’s moved up in weight. There are some boxing fans that see Ramirez as a tougher fighter than the 36-year-old Kovalev. However, Ramirez also looked beatable in his to fights against Jesse Hart. Ramirez won them both, but they were close contests, and grueling affairs. Yarde would have to battle hard to beat Ramirez. This is no gimme.
The wise move would be for Yarde to agree to the step aside deal, but reject the Ramirez fight. It would be smarter for Yarde to sit and wait for the dust to settle from the Canelo vs. Kovalev fight, and then face the winner. If Ramirez was just a fringe level fighter, and not a former world champion, it would make sense for Yarde to take the fight with him. However, Ramirez is too good for Yarde to agree to fight him unless he’s going to get huge money.
Canelo experiencing knee problems says Arum
One problem that could get in the way of Canelo fighting in September against Kovalev or Gennady Golovkin is a knee problem the Mexican star is experiencing. According to Arum, the 29-year-old Canelo Alvarez having problems with one of his knees. Presumably this is the same knee that has been giving Canelo problems for a couple of years. He wears a knee brace during his fights to guard it .
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