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Artur Beterbiev vs. Anthony Yarde could be finalized next week for October in London

Image: Artur Beterbiev vs. Anthony Yarde could be finalized next week for October in London

By Allan Fox: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum says the O2 Arena in London is booked for the end of October for Artur Beterbiev to defend his IBF, WBC & WBO light heavyweight titles against Anthony Yarde.

Arum says he hopes to have the Beterbiev vs. Yarde fight finalized by next week for this fight. There could be a method to the madness of Arum having Beterbiev fight the easy mark Yarde next rather than one of the talented contenders.

Yarde isn’t a threat to beating Beterbiev, so it’ll likely be a slam dunk win for the champion, and it will impress many British fans in London.

Fans aren’t eager to see Beterbiev fight Yarde because they were hoping he would face WBA champion Dmitry Bivol for the undisputed 175-lb championship of the division next.

Bivol’s popularity is at an all-time high in the U.S following his 12-round unanimous decision victory over Canelo Alvarez last May.

Rather than strike while the iron is hot to take advantage of the boxing public’s interest in Bivol, Arum has chosen the weaker choice, having unified light heavyweight champion Beterbiev (18-0, 18 KOs) defend against twice-beaten Yarde, who isn’t well-known in the U.S and isn’t considered a great fighter.

Despite his lack of credentials as a pro, Yarde (22-2, 21 KOs) is the WBO mandatory challenger for Beterbiev’s newly won belt that he captured last month with a second-round knockout victory over World Boxing Organization 175lb champion Joe Smith Jr on June 18th at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Yarde’s claim to fame is getting knocked out by a jab from an over-the-hill former WBO 175-lb champion Sergey Kovalev in 2019. That fight introduced many boxing fans to Yarde; believe me; they weren’t impressed with what they saw.

“No, we’re talking to Beterbiev, and we have a date at the end of October in the UK against Queensbury fighter [Anthony] Yarde, who is the number one light heavyweight,” said Top Rank promoter Bob Arum to Fighthype when asked if IBF/WBC/WBO 175-lb champion Artur Beterbiev will fight the winner of the Dmitry Bivol vs. Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez fight.

“I think Frank Warren is holding the O2 in London, and Beterbiev has been on vacation. His lawyer has been on vacation, but next week, we’re scheduled to talk to him, and hopefully, we’ll finalize that fight,” said Arum about the Beterbiev vs. Anthony Yarde fight.

Arum wasn’t interested in matching Beterbiev against Bivol even before his one-sided win over Canelo Alvarez. Still, now that he’s beaten him, he’s choosing to match Artur against Yarde, which is a terribly poor fight in comparison.

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