IBF, WBC, and WBO light-heavyweight world champion Artur Beterbiev fights in the UK for the first time as a professional when he faces Anthony Yarde at the OVO Arena in Wembley this Saturday, live on BT Sport.
Beterbiev has blitzed his way through the division, as he has an unblemished record through his 18-fight career. Yarde has tasted defeat twice in his career but has climbed to the stratosphere of the WBO rankings on two occasions with his destructive performances.
Beterbiev is the only world champion in boxing with a 100% knockout ratio, stopping every man that has stood across from him in a professional ring. Yarde also carries a high KO percentage of 88%, stopping 22 of his 23 opponents.
The champion turned pro after a stellar amateur career, which even saw him pick up a win of unified heavyweight champion, Oleksandr Usyk. His first taste of world honours as a professional came in his 12th fight, stopping Enrico Koelling for the vacant IBF title. Three fights later, Beterbiev added the WBC strap to his collection, violently stopping Oleksandr Gvozdyk in the tenth round. The WBO title came in his last outing, as Beterbiev blitzed through Joe Smith Jr in two rounds.
The challenger didn’t have much of an amateur background, but his power was clear for all to see. Yarde’s performance grew each time he stepped through the ropes, and he worked himself into a world title shot in 2019 against Sergey Kovalev. ‘The Beast’ came up short in a valiant effort against Kovalev but had proved himself to be seen at the top level. Yarde began to rebuild, but faced a setback as he would lose a decision to Lyndon Arthur, however, ‘The Beast’ avenged this loss to get himself back on the road to a world title shot.
Last time out, the carrot was dangled in front of the Ilford man, as he knew victory against Stefani Koykov would confirm his clash with Beterbiev. Yarde wasted no time and got Koykov out in three rounds to set up this huge clash.
An interesting clash, as Yarde will look to show what he has learnt for his last shot at world level, but will have to do it against one of the most savage punchers in boxing. However, Yarde carries power, and Beterbiev has been put down in his career, and ‘The Beast’ will look to find that opening.
Elsewhere on the card, there is world title action in the flyweight division as WBA flyweight champion Artem Dalakian defends his belt against David Jimenez in a clash between two undefeated fighters. The UK have a world champion in the flyweight division in Sunny Edwards, who could be eyeing up a potential unification fight with the winner.
The highly anticipated debut of amateur standout Moses Itauma takes place on the card, as the 18-year-old heavyweight looks to hit the ground running when he faces Marcel Bode. His brother, Karol Itauma, also features on the card, looking to pick up the vacant WBC international light heavyweight title against Ezequiel Maderna.
‘When I get in the ring my hands do the talking’ 💥
Moses Itauma is feeling confident ahead of his professional boxing debut on Saturday night 🥊#BeterbievYarde | Saturday, 7PM | BT Sport 1 pic.twitter.com/0GjnQ8J18l
— Boxing on BT Sport 🥊 (@BTSportBoxing) January 25, 2023
The Itauma’s are not the only pair of brothers on the card, as the Frankham brothers also feature. Super featherweight Charles Frankham and welterweight Joshua Frankham both look to move to 7-0 at the OVO Arena. Super featherweight prospect Masood Abdulah also returns, as he faces Lesther Lara over six rounds.
Welterweight prospect Sean Noakes also looks to extend his perfect record when he takes on Santiago Garces. Featherweight Umar Khan steps up to face Sadeep Sigh Bhatti over six rounds. Cruiserweight puncher Tommy Fletcher will look to build on his impressive stoppage victory last time out, as he now faces the veteran, Darryl Sharp.
A brutal third Knockdown from @tommyfletcher0pic.twitter.com/v58skpbPrq
— Frank Warren (@FrankWarren) December 29, 2022
Finally, super welterweight Khalid Ali will look to move to 5-0 when he locks horns with Ivica Gogosevic over six rounds.
An unmissable night of boxing from the OVO Arena in Wembley, which can all be watched live on BT Sport in the UK, and ESPN+ in the US.
What. A. Promo. 🔥#BeterbievYardepic.twitter.com/U09YdJI808
— Jared Parry (@JarPar27) January 23, 2023