nthony Yarde faces an enormous challenge as unified champion Artur Beterbiev heads to London for an explosive light-heavyweight title fight this weekend.
Few are giving Hackney’s ‘Beast from the East’ any chance of causing what would be one of the biggest boxing upsets from a British fighter in modern memory on Saturday night, though the presence of such a dominant champion on UK soil should still make for a fantastic spectacle at Wembley Arena.
Unbeaten Beterbiev is one the sport’s most ferocious and hard-hitting titlists, holding the IBF gold at 175lbs since 2017 and adding the WBC belt two years later, before collecting the WBO strap with a second-round demolition of Joe Smith Jr in New York last summer.
The Russian who fights out of Canada is missing just the WBA belt to complete the set, with an epic undisputed showdown against Dmitry Bivol potentially looming later in 2023 if he can first brush past Yarde, his compatriot’s potential rematch with Canelo Alvarez notwithstanding.
A highly-decorated amateur with European and world success, Beterbiev is 18-0 as a professional with all of those victories coming via knockout. Many see it as simply mission impossible for Yarde, who originally expected this fight in October before an injury suffered by the champion.
The 31-year-old became Beterbiev’s mandatory WBO challenger after avenging his surprise defeat to domestic rival Lyndon Arthur with his own headline knockout back in October 2021.
That bout was sandwiched by easy wins overAlex Theran and Stefani Koykov, with the 23-2 Yarde now facing a massive step up in class three-and-a-half years after going to Russia and giving Sergey Kovalev a real scare on his previous unsuccessful challenge for the WBO light-heavyweight title in 2019.
Beterbiev vs Yarde date, start time, venue and ring walks
Beterbiev vs Yarde takes place on Saturday January 28, 2023 at The SSE Arena, Wembley in London.
The main undercard is due to get underway from 7pm GMT, with the ring walks for the main event expected at approximately 10pm.
As ever, exact timings will depend on the length of the undercard fights.
Beterbiev vs Yarde fight card/undercard in full
The chief support act sees Ukraine’s Artem Dalakian defend his WBA flyweight title against undefeated challenger David Jimenez of Costa Rica.
The Itauma brothers are also in action, with teenage heavyweight prospect Moses making his professional debut and Karol fighting for his first title in the form of the vacant WBC International light-heavyweight belt.
Charles “Boom Boom” Frankham looks to go 7-0 against Colombia’s Joshua Ocampo and Hamzah Sheeraz’s cousin Umar Khan stages his sixth fight against India’s Sandeep Singh Bhatti. The WBO Inter-Continental light-heavyweight title is also on the line as Willy Hutchinson takes on Emil Markic.
Artur Beterbiev vs Anthony Yarde
Artem Dalakian vs David Jimenez
Karol Itauma vs Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna
Willy Hutchinson vs Emil Markic
Charles Frankham vs Joshua Ocampo
Umar Khan vs Sandeep Singh Bhatti
Sean Noakes vs Santiago Garces
Tommy Fletcher vs Darryl Sharp
Joshua Frankham vs Joe Hardy
Khalid Ali vs Ivica Gogosevic
Moses Itauma vs Marcel Bode
How to watch Beterbiev vs Yarde
TV channel: In the UK, Beterbiev vs Yarde is available to watch live via BT Sport 1 and BT Sport Ultimate, with coverage beginning at 7pm GMT.
Live stream: Subscribers can also catch the action as it happens live online via the BT Sport website or app.
LIVE coverage: Follow live coverage throughout the card with Standard Sport’s fight night blog.
Beterbiev vs Yarde fight prediction
Brave Yarde will not be intimidated or cowed by the significant challenge that awaits this weekend.
He showed against Kovalev that he holds no fear when the odds are firmly stacked against him, and on that occasion he came close to shocking the world with an eighth-round stoppage.
While it’s extremely difficult to see that happening again here, you can be sure that Yarde will give this everything he’s got on home soil.
For all Beterbiev’s fearsome power, his opponent also packs a massive punch and will be only too ready to exploit any mistakes made by the Russian.
Though the champion has many knockouts in the first half of fights on his stellar CV, he was taken nine rounds by Marcus Browne in a bloody affair in Montreal in December 2021 and also went 10 with both Adam Deines and Oleksandr Gvozdyk.
Yarde will no doubt make things difficult and Beterbiev will likely need to methodically break down another opponent here rather than scoring a quick highlight-reel KO, before finishing a dominant performance in the latter stages.
Beterbiev to win by knockout in the ninth round.
Beterbiev vs Yarde weigh-in results
The weigh-ins for Saturday’s card take place on Friday afternoon in London. Check back in then for the results!
Beterbiev vs Yarde betting odds
Beterbiev to win: 1/12
Yarde to win: 6/1
Beterbiev to win by KO, TKO or DQ: 1/5
Beterbiev to win by decision/technical decision: 11/2
Yarde to win by KO, TKO or DQ: 8/1
Yarde to win by decision/technical decision: 18/1
Odds via Betfair (subject to change).