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Anthony Yarde Eyes Future At Cruiserweight

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Anthony Yarde is destined for cruiserweight, according to his trainer and manager Tunde Ajayi. 

 

The light heavyweight is expected to fight Joshua Buatsi, his leading domestic rival, in a stadium in London in June, and he also hopes to again challenge for and this time win a world title. 

 

That Artur Beterbiev and Dmitrii Bivol are scheduled to fight for the undisputed title in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on June 1 means that even in the event of victory over Buatsi he will not do so any earlier than towards the end of the year, but a move to cruiserweight is regardless in the 32 year old’s future, according to the colleague who knows him best.

 

“I remember when Ant made his debut,” Ajayi said. “His opponent [Mitch Mitchell] said, ‘There’s no way he’s a light heavyweight’. That was when he made his professional debut in 2015. 

 

“Anthony Yarde, only through discipline, has maintained that weight. If you look at him even today, sized up against someone like Cheav[on Clarke], who’s about to fight for the British [cruiserweight] title – Anthony’s bigger than him. Wider. 

 

“Maybe they’ve got height, but Anthony’s solid – solid. I believe he could even be more comfortable at cruiserweight,  because he’d be firing on all cylinders. Light-heavy – it’s always been a disciplined regime for him to maintain the light-heavyweight limit. 

 

“Anthony leaves everything to me in terms of picking an opponent. Jai Opetaia’s name was mentioned to us – this kid in New Zealand – so I phoned my friends in New Zealand. ‘Tund, you’ll fight him one day, but not now’ – because it was the fight after Beterbiev. Straight after. He spars heavyweights; he spars cruiserweights in the gym. They’ll tell you – at that weight he punches like a heavyweight.”

 

Victory over Buatsi, 31, would make Yarde the likeliest next challenger to the winner of Beterbiev-Bivol.

 

“For the stage he’s at, the light-heavyweight division is very attractive,” Ajayi continued. “Because of that, he could be around [at 175lbs] for three or four more fights. 

 

“If you put the right proposal in front of Anthony, up at cruiserweight – if you put the right offer for Chris Billam-Smith, Anthony Yarde would fight him. If you put the right offer for Jai Opetaia, at cruiserweight, Anthony Yarde would fight him.”

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