Friday, January 27th 2023

Press Conference Notes & Photos: Artur Beterbiev & Anthony Yarde Ready for Wembley Showdown

Beterbiev vs. Yarde goes down SATURDAY (3:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. PT) at OVO Arena Wembley LIVE & EXCLUSIVELY on ESPN+

LONDON (Jan. 26, 2023) — WBC/WBO/IBF unified light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev (18-0, 18 KOs) talks with his fists more than his mouth. Boxing’s only world champion with a 100 percent knockout rate is on enemy turf as he prepares to defend his collection of belts against British puncher Anthony Yarde (23-2, 22 KOs) on Saturday at OVO Arena Wembley in London.

Yarde is the far more loquacious of the fighters, but there was a shared respect between the two combatants at Thursday’s press conference. Beterbiev and Yarde did have an intense staredown, but it was all business two days before fight night.

Beterbiev-Yarde and undercard bouts will stream live and exclusively in the U.S. on ESPN+ at 3:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. PT.

This is what Beterbiev, Yarde and Top Rank chairman Bob Arum had to say.

Artur Beterbiev

“In our camp, we always try to be ready for different scenarios. If it’s a tough fight, we’re going to be ready.”

“I feel good. I hope on January 28 I will change a little bit (to turn into a monster). I said he looks like a bodybuilder because of his muscles. I don’t have this muscle and I didn’t say it to mean anything bad. I said it because he looks strong!”

Anthony Yarde

“Everyone knows the type of character I am. I’m very calm. I jump at opportunities, and again, you go thorough certain things in your journey to strengthen you. You go through certain things in your journey to prepare you as well. So, that’s why I keep saying I’m so excited.”

“I’m happy to be alive, happy to be at this stage of my life as well. Being an underdog, over-dog middle dog… it don’t matter to me. I’m a dog! When I get in the ring and I start throwing my hands about, everyone knows what I can do. If you want to say it does anything to me, it gives me that little push, that little urge. But, again, it’s expected. I don’t lie or bullsh*t anybody. He’s got 18 fights, 18 wins, {100 percent} knockout ratio, Olympian. He’s done a lot in the sport, and that’s why he should be respected. I’ve respected him this far. As I said before, when we get in the ring, surely he will be saying the same thing. There’s no respect in the ring when you try and take the respect away from your opponent.”

“Three belts, legacy and history. I’m happy it’s Beterbiev. This scary person. I’m happy that it’s three belts. It just makes it all that much better. It’s gonna feel like it’s earned. It’s not no easy way out. There’s a lot of fighters that get a mandatory world title, or they get someone that they’re meant to beat, they’re the a-side, etc. I like this route. This route gives me the goosebumps, the good feeling. It’s the journey. The journey is what makes me happy.”

Bob Arum

“I think, pound for pound, the biggest puncher in boxing today is the guy on my right who has knocked out every opponent that has been put in front of him, not because he isn’t a very good boxer — because he is a very good boxer — but he also has that magic that you can’t really train a fighter for. It’s instinctive, the ability to punch and knock out an opponent. So, I’m very happy to be here. I know Anthony Yarde, I’ve followed him. He’s a terrific fighter, also with a big punch. He’s a very, very exciting type of fighter.”

Marc Ramsay (Beterbiev’s Trainer)

“We’ve known {about} Anthony Yarde for a long time. I look at all the light heavyweights from their beginning until they reach the level of my fighter. I know he’s a good fighter, a complete fighter. He’s fast, he’s powerful, he can box, he can counterpunch. But we get ready for all of those elements in the training camp. We have a very productive training camp. We reached every single objective that we faced before the training camp. No excuse, no injury, no nothing. We’re just ready to perform and give the fans what they want to see.”

“I know everyone wants to talk about {Beterbiev’s perfect KO rate} and has questions about this, but this is really not the focus we have as a team. We work with Artur to get ready to fight the best way we can. Power is power. Power is there, but that is not the main objective for us. We don’t put the focus on that.”