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Anthony Yarde to be ringside for Beterbiev vs. Smith Jr on Saturday, will fight winner

Image: Anthony Yarde to be ringside for Beterbiev vs. Smith Jr on Saturday, will fight winner

By Charles Brun: WBO mandatory Anthony Yarde will be ringside this Saturday night to watch the light heavyweight unification fight between IBF/WBA champion Artur Beterbiev and World Boxing Organization champ Joe Smith Jr. at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum already told the media on Thursday that the Beterbiev vs. Smith Jr. winner WILL fight Yarde (22-2, 21 KOs) next.

That’s the fight that Arum wants, and since he promotes both champions, Beterbiev and Smith, that’s the direction he’s going in by matching the winner against Yarde.

“I get the winner hopefully, but until the winner is facing in front of me, I can’t focus,” said Anthony Yarde to Frank Warren’s Queensbury Promotions, about him fighting the winner of Beterbiev vs. Smith Jr.

“I think I’ll come out on top, even though I’m not in the ring tomorrow,” said Yarde when asked about a prediction for the Beterbiev – Smith fight. “All I care about is I get the winner, and I think I come out on top.”

Surprisingly, Arum prefers that Beterbiev vs. Smith Jr. winner fight Yarde rather than take on WBA champion Dmitry Bivol for the undisputed championship, and it’s transparently clear why the wisened promoter is opting to go in that direction.

Yarde is an easy mark and a sure-thing win for Beterbiev or Smith, but you can’t say the same thing about the Eddie Hearn-promoted Bivol.

That’s a fight that Beterbiev or Smith would likely lose. We already saw Bivol school Joe Smith Jr. in 2019 in a one-sided fight.

The only moment Smith had in the fight was when he hit Bivol AFTER the bell in the tenth, stunning him. Bivol recovered and got payback in the 12th round when he unloaded with a flurry of shots on Smith that had the Long Island, New York native on the verge of being stopped as the fight ended.

The way Bivol was flurrying on a helpless Smith Jr in the 12th was eerily similar to how he nailed Canelo Alvarez with a storm of shots in the fifth round in their recent fight on May 7th. The only difference is Smith was in serious trouble.

“I’ll be watching them both fight,” said Yarde. “What do you think my answer will be?” said Yarde when asked if he has a preference for who he’ll fight between Smith and Beterbiev. “Nope, it doesn’t matter.

“That sounds like a dream come true,” said Yarde about the possibility of him fighting Joshua Buatsi for the undisputed light heavyweight championship next year if he defeats the Beterbiev vs. Smith Jr. winner and Buatsi beats WBA 175-lb champion Dmitry Bivol.

“I’m not a talker, I’m a believer. Me and Joshua Buatsi have said this from the beginning, it’s going to happen,” said Yarde sounding like a dreamer. “We’ve both said the same thing, it’s going to happen. There’s a lot of respect there. I think it’s going to happen,” said Yarde the dreamer.

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