Sergey Kovalov and Anthony Yarde will be in the center of attention this weekend, as the two meet in WBO light-heavyweight title fight. The entire boxing world is anxious to see whether the young Brit has a chance against the experienced Russian, who is the ruler of this category. According to many, the prospects for Kovalev’s win are much better, but there are certain experts who believe in Yarde’s strength. The venue of the match is Kovalev’s hometown of Chelyabinsk.
Kovalev (33-3-1 28 KOs) is one of the best boxers in the world, regardless of the category. He will have substantial help in this case, due to the crowd who will be on his side, which could be a distraction for Yarde. The experience here works in his favor, and he knows how to fight young and hungry challengers like the Brit. His most recent fight was in early February when he defeated Eleider Alvares. With that win, Kovalev regained his belt which was lost against the Colombian earlier. The victory came via unanimous decision, and there was no surprise this time. We’ve mentioned experience, and in order to give you a clear picture about it, we will just say that Kovalev had 9 title defenses so far. He did lose in the meantime, but each time, the Russian came back stronger and more motivated, taking back what is his.
Anthony Yarde is the biggest boxing name besides Anthony Joshua. And having in mind that AJ lost the title against Andy Ruiz Jr., Yarde could become the next world champion from Great Britain. At the moment, Yarde the 28-year old from Hackney, London, has 18 straight wins, 17 of them by a knockout. But he never met a fighter like Kovalev before. Furthermore, he never fought outside England, and that is what worries many of his fans, who saw what happened to Joshua in New York. The atmosphere in Russia will be even more hostile, be sure in that. Yarde is the WBO Inter-Continental light-heavyweight champion, and had his last title defense in March against Travis Reeves from the US. He won that event with a knockout in the fifth round, sending a message to Kovalev that he wants him as the next opponent.
Head to Head
These two guys never fought before. But in this paragraph, we are going to say something about their record. Kovalev has 33 wins, one draw, and 3 losses. Two of them were against the legendary Andre Ward, and one against Alvarez. He recorded 28 knockouts. Meanwhile, Yarde didn’t win just one of his 18 matches by a TKO, and that was against Stanislavs Makarenko. It was his second fight in career.
Yarde is the younger, and perhaps stronger fighter, with more energy. But that is not what decides these sorts of matches. The Russian fought tens of battles like this one, while on the other side, this is the first of a kind for the Brit. Also, the factor of the venue will play a major role in this one. Expect that 99% of the crowd favorites Kovalev, and in matches like this one, it is a huge advantage. Especially because Yarde never encountered something like that. Kovalev knows how to go the long distance, while his younger challenger often finished the fights in the opening few rounds, and that is his handicap. So all in all, after analyzing this contest, our pick is the reigning champion. Odds on the Russian are 0.52 atBetXChange, and we are backing him for retaining the title belt.