Artur Beterbiev vs. Anthony Yarde: Light-Heavyweight Title Fight Predictions

Place: OVO Arena, Wembley Date: Saturday 28 January
Coverage: Follow live text coverage and reaction on the BBC Sport website and app from 21:00 GMT

Britain’s Anthony Yarde aims to upset the odds when he takes on WBC, WBO and IBF light-heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev in London on Saturday.

Yarde, 31, is a huge underdog and is fighting in his second world title fight, four years after becoming stopped by Sergey Kovalev in Russia.

Another Russian-born fighter stands in the way of 38-year-old Beterbiev, who is boxing’s only world champion with a 100% knockout ratio.

We’ve asked big names from the sport for their opinions on the big game.

World Welterweight Champion Errol Spence Jr: “I rock with Yarde. Father Time is undefeated, I don’t care. It’s just a matter of time [before Beterbiev] looks his age in the ring.”

Former World Super Welterweight Champion Hannah Rankin: “I’m going to go Beterbiev on points. There will be some knockdowns, I think it could be a knockdown on both sides.

“At first I was very similar to Beterbiev [by] knock out [in] later rounds, but Yarde has such a solid chin, I don’t think he’ll need to be in shape for this one. It may go a long way, but Yarde is being drafted.”

Yarde’s promoter Frank Warren: “The odds are there to be challenged and I feel Anthony wants to do that. I really feel he has the ability to do that.”

Beterbiev’s coach John Scully: “I’ve never been a guy to predict. But I don’t expect to lose. I look at everything and Yarde broke down against Sergey Kovalev and the pace of that fight wasn’t that intense. I think he’ll find out very quickly that the level of intensity becomes a million times higher. If he can handle it, more power to him.”

Light Sam Noakes: “I think Yarde is definitely in. I think the later it goes, the more Beterbiev takes over. I want Yarde to win, but he has a big test ahead of him.”

Featherweight Raven Chapman: “I’ve teamed up with Yarde and solved the riot for five to six rounds.”

Beterbiev’s promoter Bob Arum: “I’m biased so I think Artur wins and wins by knockout. He can win with a late knockout or an early knockout depending [how] Yarde is fighting.”

Boxing analyst Barry Jones: “As with Sergey Kovalev in Russia, this is another monumental task, even more so, and you have to admire Yarde for that.”

Light-heavyweight Callum Johnson: “I can’t see anything but a Beterbiev win.”

Yarde’s coach Tunde Ajayi: “Anthony could go out and put on a boxing masterclass. I’m so excited. Saturday night can’t come soon enough.”

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