By Jim Calfa: Promoter Frank Warren says WBO mandatory Anthony Yarde is poised to face the winner of the June 18th unification fight between 175-lb champions Artur Beterbiev & Joe Smith Jr. in October, possibly in the UK.
Yarde (22-2, 21 KOs) is already ranked #1 with the WBO and waiting for the smoke to clear from the fight unification fight next month between IBF/WBC light heavyweight champion Beterbiev (17-0, 17 KOs) and WBO champion Smith Jr. (28-3, 22 KOs) on June 18th at Madison Square Garden in New York.
WBA 175-lb champion Dmitry Bivol has mentioned numerous times in the last two weeks since his win over Canelo Alvarez that he’d like to fight the winner of the Beterbiev vs. Smith Jr fight for the undisputed championship. However, that doesn’t sound like it’s going to happen now.
Promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank said this week that he’s not interested in matching the Beterbiev-Smith winner against Bivol because he fights on the DAZN app, and those two fight on ESPN. Arum suggested that Bivol defends against his WBA mandatory Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez next.
“I thought it was a decent fight,” said Frank Warren to Secondsout about last Saturday’s WBA light heavyweight final eliminator between Joshua Buatsi and Craig Richards.
“I thought [Craig] Richards gave a real good account of himself and gave him a few problems,” Warren continued.”So, it was the final eliminator for [WBA 175-lb champion Dmitry] Bivol.
“I don’t know why they’re talking about Anthony Yarde. That’s what you fought for, that’s what you signed up for, so fight Bivol. Anthony Yarde has bigger fish to fry at the moment. He’s in a great position.
“He’s the WBO’s next mandatory for those three belts that Joe Smith and [Artur] Beterbiev are fighting for, and he will get the winner of the fight in October, and we’re trying to do that here. That’s where we’re at,” said Warren.
We’ll see if Yarde winds up fighting the Beterbiev vs. Smith winner in October or not. If Yarde can’t get that fight this year, it’ll be interesting to see who he does face.
Does Yarde sit and wait for his eventual mandatory title shot, or does he stay active by fighting Joshua Buatsi or perhaps Craig Richards?
“If he wins, Anthony, and I think he’s got a good chance of winning that world title, he’d fight Buatsi immediately. No problem,” said Warren.
“I don’t know what Buatsi is going to do in the meantime. That’s up to him and his people. I don’t even know if he’s going to stay where he’s at,” said Warren.
Yarde, 30, is coming off a fourth-round knockout win over Lyndon Arthur last December in their rematch. In 2020, Arthur had beaten Yarde by a 12-round split decision.