Artur Beterbiev and Anthony Yarde clash tonight, with the IBF, WBC and WBO world light-heavyweight titles on the line in London.
Yarde is a big underdog going into the fight but the east Londoner is relishing a chance to upset the odds and dethrone formidable Russian Beterbiev at Wembley Arena.
Beterbiev has a terrifying knockout record and is the only current boxing world champion to have won every single one of his professional fights by stoppage. His professional record is 18 bouts, 18 wins and 18 knockouts.
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This will be Yarde’s second shot at a world title, having been stopped by then WBA champion Sergey Kovalev in Russia back in 2019.
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, though the presence of such a dominant champion on UK soil should still make for a fantastic spectacle.
Unbeaten Beterbiev is one the sport’s most ferocious, cold 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.
Yarde 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.
“Being underdog, over-dog, middle-dog, it doesn't matter to me. I'm a dog," said 31-year-old Yarde, who will be dangerous in the early rounds. “I understand why the bookies have got it that way, again that's what edges me on.”
Beterbiev vs Yarde date, start time, venue and ring walks
Beterbiev vs Yarde takes place tonight 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 tonight 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 fighters took the scales on Friday afternoon, with Beterbiev the slightly heavier of the two.
Yarde came in at 174.3lbs, with Beterbiev weighing in at 174.5lbs.
Beterbiev vs Yarde betting odds
Beterbiev to win: 1/9
Yarde to win: 5/1
Beterbiev to win by KO, TKO or DQ: 2/9
Beterbiev to win by decision/technical decision: 7/1
Yarde to win by KO, TKO or DQ: 7/1
Yarde to win by decision/technical decision: 22/1