By Adam Baskin: Promoter Frank Warren has confirmed that WBO 175-lb mandatory challenger Anthony Yarde will be the next opponent for IBF/WBC/WBO light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev on October 22nd in London, England.
Fans don’t want to see Beterbiev fight Yarde because it doesn’t figure to be competitive.
Although the contracts still need to be signed, they’re expected to be between the undefeated Beterbiev (18-0, 18 KOs) and the twice-beaten Yarde (22-2, 21 KOs) for the October 22nd fight.
In reacting to being told that Beterbiev called out WBA champion Dmitry Bivol inside the ring last Saturday night following his second-round knockout win over World Boxing Organization champion Joe Smith Jr, Warren said Yarde would have done the same thing.
Warren added that if Beterbiev wants to fight Bivol next, he’ll need to vacate his WBO title because Yarde is the mandatory. That’s something that Beterbiev likely won’t do because his focus is on becoming the undisputed champion at 175.
Assuming Beterbiev does choose to give up the WBO belt, Yarde would need to face one of these contenders in the rankings: Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez, Callum Smith, Callum Johnson, or Joshua Buatsi. It would be whoever takes the fight first, starting with Zurdo Ramirez.
“Yeah, I spoke to Bob [Arum] about that fight, and we’re going to do it,” said Frank Warren to iFL TV when asked to confirm that Anthony Yarde will be challenging Artur Beterbiev on October 22nd in London.
“I can speak to Anthony and Tunde when they get back, and then we’ll get on with it,” Frank continued about Yarde being the next opponent for IBF/WBC/WBO 175-lb champion Beterbiev.
“That’s what it’s all about. Again, he’s [Yarde] the mandatory challenger for the WBO version of the title, so hopefully, those three belts will be up for him to fight for.
“It’s a tough fight, but it’s a tough fight for Beterbiev as well because I think Anthony Yarde would have done the same thing to Joe Smith. He’s a big puncher himself, a phenomenal puncher, and a strong guy.
“It’s two brutes. I mean, they can really, really punch. That’s going to be fireworks, that fight. Bombs away. What has he had, 17 or 18 fights, Beterbiev? He’s had everyone on the floor.
“Every single fighter, our man [Yarde], he’s done the same, so they’re both big punchers. I’ve got to speak to Bob and get all the housekeeping sorted out, but yeah,” said Frank when asked to confirm that Beterbiev vs. Yarde is a done deal and the contracts just need to be signed.
“I can understand that because it’s a unification match, it’s the final bell, and I can understand that,” said Frank when asked about his thoughts on Beterbiev calling out WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol last Saturday night after his second-round knockout win over Joe Smith Jr.
“You know what? If he [Beterbiev] wants to fight Bivol, he’s got to vacate the WBO title,” said Warren.