Tunde Ajayi, mentor to bludgeoning light heavyweight Anthony Yarde, reasons that the southpaw assignment his man will undertake at the 02 Arena this Saturday is the ideal work for this stage of his progression.
Yarde takes on the Pole Dariusz Sek in his 16th contest – live on BT Sport and BoxNation from7pm – and the 27-3-3 man is the first leftie encountered by the boxer known as ‘The Beast’.
Ajayi, who operates out of the Peacock Gym in Canning Town, believes Sek is the right opponent to tick one of the remaining boxes before Yarde is stepped right up in class.
“Absolutely, not only is he a southpaw, he is also a good technical boxer,” said the East London fight guru. “You can see from his record that he has never been stopped and that shows durability and he could be fiddly – and looking at a few of his tapes that’s exactly what he is!
“He sticks out his right hand constantly and, if there is a weapon that is employed that much, it means you have to use your cerebral capacity and have to think around it.
“It is about ticking boxes and that is what I want Anthony to do because, as you go up in class, not only are guys punchers, they are slick and also great thinkers.
“I think this opponent is absolutely the right one for Anthony and they couldn’t have got me a better one. He is tough, durable, he’s been in with the current European champion (Robin Krasniqi), he is tall and he is confident.
“I don’t know if he is going to stand up to Anthony though because he is something special. I just know that on Saturday night he is going to demonstrate what he is about and even more people are going to be talking about Anthony than are now.”
The fact that Yarde is considered a special talent brings with it pressure and no shortage of expectation, resulting in the naming of capable opponents being met with derision when they have been drafted in with good reason.
Ajayi is fully aware of the degree of online negativity, but insists he will not be diverted from the course which he feels is right for his punching pupil.
“To get to a certain level in any sport you have to be tough mentally. You won’t be swayed by the opinions of others.
“I was saying to someone the other day to look at the career of Floyd Mayweather. It seemed like after he fought Arturo Gatti in his first pay-per-view people started talking and talking and negativity came in.
“I always remember Floyd saying that the thing that separates him from the rest is that he was mentally tougher.
“We just have to stay focused because Anthony has entrusted me to look after him in respect of his management and training requirements. Fighters take fights they shouldn’t take sometimes and then blame themselves.
“Anthony wants to fight certain fights, believe me, while Frank has also tried to make certain fights, which is what people don’t know.
“We know where we are going and we need to continue our course and continue the learning curve that I have in my head and everything is about timing.
“Maybe because I have said he is special I have put pressure on myself. People say ‘alright, he’s special, so let’s see him have a fight’, but what happens when he fights the guys people want him to fight and he does the same thing to them? There is going to be another issue.
“This is why you shouldn’t focus on the negative. We will continue to stay positive and we’ll see what happens.
“There is a mystery around Anthony Yarde and people want to see what is coming next in his show. If people have something to talk about it is conversation and that is great for the sport.”