Sergey Kovalev vs Anthony Yarde

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Sergey Kovalev vs Anthony Yarde
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Date: 
Saturday, August 24, 2019
Location: 
Traktor Sports Palace, Chelyabinsk, Russia
Rounds Scheduled: 
12
Contracted Weight: 
175
Titles at Stake: 
WBO Light Heavyweight World Title (Kovalev's 1st defence)

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Fan Cards: Sergey Kovalev vs Anthony Yarde



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Comments

Champion97's picture

Prediction,

Experience, amateur and professional, is well in Kovalev's favour. Yarde had 12 amateur bouts, Kovalev had 200 odd, was in a lot of national tournaments, some world tournaments, fought Beterbiev, Korobov. As a professional, Yarde's opposition has been bad, at world level, he has no resume, his only good win is Sjekloca, great performance, early stoppage, Sjekloca is tough, went 12 with Callum Smith, Bika, Abraham, so that was a statement, but Sjekloca was moving up in weight, was 39, so he wasn't the same. Kovalev has had double the fights Yarde has, and fought far better opponents, fought Ward twice, beat Hopkins, and even Pascal, Eleider Alvarez, levels above Yarde's opponents. Yarde is unprepared for a big fight, you can't slip up against Kovalev, because he might be the biggest hitter at 175. Yarde's chin is untested, but whether he has a good chin or not, he is at risk of getting hurt, because his opposition has been terrible, had no learning fights, he'll make mistakes Kovalev will capitalise on.

Kovalev has strengths, but weaknesses, stamina, chin, weak to the body, isn't a complete fighter, not an inside fighter. If you go 6 rounds, close the gap, get on the inside, and work the body, sustain good, solid attacks, Kovalev is beatable, more so at 36, having a lot of miles, he took a lot of damage against Ward and Alvarez, especially Alvarez. Last year, I thought Kovalev was done, he came off a bad loss, got beat up, stopped, but he got a new trainer, and he controlled the rematch, kept Alvarez at distance, didn't put too much into his shots, tired slightly later than maybe he would have done before, and an even more tired Alvarez, couldn't capitalise. Kovalev and McGirt are a great team, McGirt helped Kovalev make his age as small an issue as possible, has brought the best out of him. Decline is inevitable, Kovalev is declining, but if he wasn't listening to his coaches before and is now, can find the balance between over and under training, then maybe he can compensate for his decline for now. Kovalev, overall, is past it, but not only not shot, but is better than he was in 2018.

Kovalev is still beatable late on, he isn't a good inside fighter, or durable, his stamina is better now, and it is harder to capitalise when he tires, but inside fighting, stamina, are weaknesses, and Yarde, although his opposition has been bad, seems to be a talented fighter, have athleticism and power, an inside fighting style, does a great job of finishing opponents to the body, he is young and fresh, Yarde, and if he gets through the rounds, is able to make Kovalev work at a high pace, apply pressure, take Kovalev's power, get on the inside late on and work the body, he has a great chance of winning, but to take Kovalev's power, close the gap, without walking into the right hand, not easy, and I don't think you can do that with Yarde's inexperience. Yarde's chin is untested, and his skill level, talent as a fighter, untested, but regardless, his inexperience will be a problem for him, he hasn't been 8 rounds, his stamina is untested, he is used to having it his way, choosing the pace he works at.

I think Kovalev beats Yarde, it will be about pedigree. I think Kovalev's ability to control the distance with his jab will be important, Kovalev will be a step ahead, set him up and counter with the right hand. I think Kovalev will let Yarde try to be first, tie up and lean if Yarde gets close, let the ref break them up. I think early, Kovalev will keep Yarde in position, set up the right hand, and when he lands clean, Yarde will be hurt, might get gun shy, he won't commit to his offence until Kovalev needs to step off the gas. Kovalev will bully Yarde, land that clean, heavy jab, control the fight.

I think Kovalev will tire after 7 or 8 rounds, which makes the fight more interesting, but Yarde might be more tired, having taken a lot more clean punches than Kovalev. Yarde, as the younger fighter, who might be the better athlete, might be stronger than Kovalev late on because he will recover from a tough round faster, and if he has a lot more in the tank, lands clean and hurts Kovalev, he could stop him, but I don't think he will, he might well hurt Kovalev, but Kovalev will survive, use his jab, and Yarde will punch himself out, because to build on hurting a fighter, at this level, takes more than physical attributes, you need skill and experience which Yarde doesn't have.

I think Kovalev beats Yarde, UD, somehere along the lines of 116-111. I would not be shocked if Yarde won, he is much younger, fresher, not seen him struggle at all, has been very dominant at the level he's been at, he seems to be a puncher, athlete, and Kovalev is old, has weaknesses, but I'm 70% sure Kovalev wins because however good Yarde could potentially be, he is too inexperienced to win this fight.

Champion97's picture

I'm not changing my prediction, but 3 weeks out from the fight, and Kovalev's team have just stopped negotiating a fight with Canelo I believe, I don't know how involved Kovalev himself was, but even if he was training normal, that's still very risky, you can't look past an opponent, think about other fights at this level.

I'm very excited about this fight. It's always interesting when a new kid on the block challenges a tried and tested great - and I think Kovalev is a great.

I don't think Kovalev has been washed up at any point. The first fight against Ward was controversial to say the least. The 2nd Ward has figured him out. Let's not forget Ward was undoubtedly the best pound for pound fighter out there after Floyd. Then Alvarez beat him with a lucky punch. Kovalev made a mistake yes but what I mean but that is it was a haymaker that would land once in every 100 rounds probably. Kovalev then got grilled by many for getting 'beat up' there after, the truth is he just never recovered (interesting parallels with AJ vs Ruiz).

In the rematch Kovalev did what I expected him to, outbox Alvarez for almost every second of every round, as he did in the first fight before he got dropped.

So - Kovalev is still a king in my opinion and has been underrated over the past few years.

Such an interesting match up with Yarde. The question I believe is simply, can Yarde get inside that ramrod jab of Kovalev's, which must be one of the best pound for pound jabs in the sport. The other question is what approach Kovalev will take. The Alvarez rematch brought Kovalev back to a safety first approach, almost amateur style knowing that a decision victory was likely. He didn't underestimate his opponent as he did with Alvarez first time around.

The fight is in Russia, Kovalev will be desperate to put on a show. Could Kovalev get reckless and go for a KO too early? IF Yarde has a granite chin this could spell danger for Kovalev. Kovalev's weak spot appears to be stamina (and body shots). He punches hard and I think blows himself out sometimes.

If Yarde has the chin and skills to take Kovalev deep , his best chance could be to win the fight in the 2nd half of the fight, as Kovalev tires.

It's very hard to make a prediction with so many unknowns so I'll just sit back and enjoy this one.

As (another) Brit, I'll be supporting Yarde, despite Kovalev being one of my favourite fighters.

albertocastany's picture

I'd say Kovalev by decision, but I just don't think is okay to understimate Yarde. I wouldn't put my money on this fight.

I'm going for broke here and picking the upset. Yarde by some form of stoppage.

Olaain1994's picture

Yarde is untested. We can't make a prediction on this as there is no way to measure what Yarde's level is. Kovalev is in good form and coming off one of the best performances of his career. However, things away from the ring may seem to suggest that he is taking Yarde lightly by negotiating with Canelo, offering him step aside money and reports of alcohol abuse. Timing may be key due to this, Frank Warren being a master at this. On the flip side, its seems Yarde may be unprepared due to his lack of quality opponents and seemingly no sparring. Tunde Ajayi may look good on the pads with Yarde but so did Ricky Hatton with Nathan Gorman. This fight will answer an awful lot of questions around Anthony Yarde and Tunde Ajayi.