Kovalev vs Yarde

Kovalev vs Yarde: It was an interesting turn of events, but 36-year-old Sergey Kovalev has seen himself transition from from aging light heavyweight titleholder In his first real test on the international stage, Anthony Yarde will be taking on Sergey Kovalev for the WBO world light-heavyweight title. Kovalev vs Yarde Live: Kovalev vs Yarde takes place this evening at Traktor Sport Palace in “I believe that right now I’m mentally very strong and I believe what happens on the night is what matters.”

Kovalev, in his third reign as WBO titleholder after losses to Andre Ward (twice) and Eleider Alvarez briefly interrupted run as champion, said he ultimately understands Yarde’s ambitions to make a name for himself but believes his opponent’s inexperience will cost him.

“[Yarde] calls himself a lion but to me he is a cub. He is so young,” Kovalev said. “I will have to get rid of all that baby fur off his skin so he will run away back home. It is clear he comes here and he wants to be like that. I have this experience. Now is my time.”Chelyabinsk, Russia. Ringwalks for the main event are expected at around 7:30pm BST with undercard coverage beginning at 5pm Kovalev vs Yarde ANTHONY YARDE WILL challenge long-standing world champion Sergey Kovalev for his WBO World Light Heavyweight championship in Chelyabinsk, Russia on August 24. The A last-minute negotiation left Kovalev at an interesting crossroads. Despite having already signed a deal to defend his title on Saturday in his native Chelyabinsk, Russia, against unbeaten Anthony Yarde, Kovalev received a last-minute offer in upwards of eight figures from Alvarez’s team at Golden Boy Promotions for an Oct. 26 bout in Las Vegas that would require Kovalev to pay Yarde a large fee to step aside.

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In a somewhat risky decision, Kovalev chose to have his cake and eat it too. Not only will his fight against Yarde (18-0, 17 KOs) go on as scheduled Saturday at Traktor Sport Palace (ESPN+, 12:30 p.m. ET), largely because Kovalev gave his word, the “Krusher” is hoping a victory will still get him the Alvarez fight later this fall.

“We did have an offer (from Canelo Alvarez) but we can talk about that after Saturday night,” Kovalev said. “Official agreements were already made with Antony Yarde. My primary task is to defend the title. If the fight is still interesting for Canelo afterwards, then OK.

“[The offer came] just three weeks before this fight. And the offer was indeed a big one, a substantial one. But you never do it like that, because I have to be here. This is my home and this is not what I do.”

Kovalev is not only gambling from the standpoint that losing to Yarde would remove any hope that he lands Alvarez in what would be a career-high payday and likely the final one of this kind available to him, but he’s also risking that Alvarez doesn’t sign on to face someone else regardless.

In Kovalev’s favor, of course, is the mess that Alvarez left behind at DAZN after turning down GGG, pulling out of his annual Mexican Independence Day weekend slot in September and getting stripped of his IBF title when negotiations with Sergiy Derevyanchenko crumbled. Kovalev may end up the lone remaining option that both Alvarez and DAZN agree upon should he come away victorious.

If securing a fight against Alvarez later this fall isn’t enough motivation, recent social media posts from the confident Yarde, a 28-year-old native of Great Britain, have clearly gotten under Kovalev’s skin.

“I will show who is the boss here,” Kovalev said. “He can say everything he wants, but say and do is two different things. I’m already mad with guys like him. He will pay for everything he posted and said. He’s just a kid, not a lion. A little kitten. Small kitten.”

Yarde, who guaranteed a knockout, believes Kovalev has blown the entire situation out of proportion.

“I haven’t done no trash talking. And, I don’t do trash talking. I posted pictures, to me they are good pictures,” Yarde said. “I am a fighter, that’s what I’m meant to visualize. I’m meant to see these things in my mind, the same way Kovalev probably sees things in his mind. As fighters we want to do the best we can so we visualize what we want to happen. I posted a picture that a fan made, when I saw this picture I re-posted it as that’s what’s going to happen.”

In the co-main event, a pair of crusierweights take the ring when Ilunga Makabu takes on Aleksei Papin. Makabu, fighting out of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is on a six-fight winning streak with five of those coming by stoppage. Papin is an undefeated Russian prospect with nine of his 11 wins coming by stoppage.