“Lions in the camp, lions in the camp” echo around British Light Heavyweight Anthony Yarde wherever he goes. The mantra of his team, the mindset of the man himself.
Since turning professional less than four years ago, he has amassed an impressive record of 18-0. All but one has ended in a knockout.
In fact, Yarde has been announced as the mandatory challenger to face WBO king Sergey Kovalev. With unorthodox movement and ferocious punching power, he has blitzed through the competition so far.
However, “The Beast from the East” still has his doubters. Critics believe the reason he has looked so good is because he hasn’t fought anyone capable of causing him problems.
The 27-year-old from Ilford is the first to admit he is still learning and is happy to take it slow. Talks of a domestic showdown with fellow undefeated prospect Joshua Buatsi (10-0) have been rife. Buasti himself has campaigned for the fight, to prove he is the best Light Heavyweight in Britain. Capturing the Lonsdale belt over the weekend only strengthens his claims.
Hosea Burton has also called out Yarde on social media, promising to derail the hype train. It seems he is a wanted man. But, if a deal can be struck, Yarde will be on the world stage against a wily veteran in Kovalev. The champ is almost 36 but with ten years’ experience of fighting the elite, he is not to be discarded.
With not much of an amateur background, some will say its too soon and others will say its long overdue. Anthony trusts in his journey and the team around him to make the right choices. Under the watchful eye of Frank Warren and Queensberry Promotions, expect big things in 2019 from Mr Yarde.