Hard-hitting light-heavyweight talent Anthony Yarde harbours dreams of becoming a multi-weight world champion.
The Tunde Ajayi-trained demolition man is gunning for another knockout win when he takes on Tzvetozar Iliev at Stratford’s Copper Box Arena on Saturday 30th April, exclusively live on BoxNation.
With four big knockout wins in five professional fights, the hype around 24 year-old Yarde continues to grow. The big-punching Ilford man is aiming to become a dominant force in the UK light-heavyweight scene before setting his eyes on the ultimate prize; a world title.
“My ambition right now is to make my mark on the light-heavyweight division before moving up to cruiserweight. I’m aspiring to become a three weight world champion, before I retire I’d like to have a couple of fights up at heavyweight if my body grows,” said Yarde.
He added: “When I was young I was very slim and skinny but as I went through secondary school I wanted to bulk up a bit so I started pushing weights. When I was in the athletics squad they would make us do a lot of weight training as well. I feel good at this weight but moving up a division could be on the cards down the line.”
After impressively blowing away Hungary’s David Sipos inside the opening round at York Hall last month, Yarde now looks forward to making an emotional return to his childhood home of Stratford. The Hackney-born knockout merchant faces his toughest test to date at the impressive Copper Box Arena.
He said: “It’s where I grew up as a kid so it’ll be special heading back to Stratford to fight as a professional boxer. I lived there all my life until I was 14 and it’s a place close to my heart. Going from fighting on the streets to actually doing it in the ring as a profession at an arena like the Copper Box is a big progression.
“Growing up in Stratford, there were always arguments and altercations on the streets. You had to learn how to look after yourself or life could be very tough. I never went around causing trouble but you needed to be able to use your fists. I must have been about 12 when I first realised I had power; I dropped a kid who was trying to mug me.”
All-action Yarde believes that his explosive style was always suited to the professional code and is enjoying his fearsome reputation as one of the division’s biggest punchers. However, the Ilford ace believes his timing is just as deadly as his speed and power.
“I spend a lot of time working on my timing and precision,” he explains. “From studying boxing I’ve realised that you can have all the speed in the world but if you don’t connect with your shots it’s a waste of energy. A lot of people notice that I try not to waste shots; I always try and land solid shots.
“Boxing is the hardest and most unforgiving sport there is; that’s why I take my training so seriously. You need to be completely devoted to the sport if you want to become a success, that’s why I make sure I train a minimum of six times a week.”
You would be forgiven for thinking that the muscle-bound Yarde spends hours on end pumping iron to perfect his impressive physique. However, the multi-talented sportsman says he rarely picks up a dumbbell.
He said: “I feel at light-heavyweight I already have an advantage over most people in terms of power. When you throw my speed and timing into the mix then it makes for an effective combination. I don’t really touch heavy weights believe it or not. The only strength work I do is from my own body weight. You won’t see me doing any bench presses or bicep curls.”
Heavyweight sensation Hughie Fury headlines the card when he challenges American Fred Kassi for the Vacant WBO Intercontinental Title; Red-hot Liam Walsh defends his British and Commonwealth Super-Featherweight titles against Troy James; Ovill McKenzie and Dmytro Kucher clash for the Vacant European Cruiserweight Championship; Ryan Walsh defends his British Featherweight Championship against James Tennyson; Anthony Nelson defends his Commonwealth Super-Flyweight Championship against Jamie Conlan. The undercard features big-hitting light-heavyweight star Anthony Yarde, Southampton super-welterweight Joe Pigford, Erith super-bantamweight Lewis Pettitt; Chingford super-featherweight Boy Jones Jnr; Indian middleweight sensation Vijender Singh; Chelmsford super-middleweight Billy Long, West Ham super-welterweight Sammy McNess; Sidcup super-featherweight D.P Carr; West Ham super-lightweight Ben Smith; Hornchurch super-lightweight Sanjeev Sahota; Nantwich heavyweight Nathan Gorman; Enfield super-middleweight Barney Joe Jones, and Stains-Upon-Thames welterweight Tony Bange.
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