Unbeaten light heavyweight contender Anthony Yarde (18-0, 17 KOs) came late to boxing late at the age of 19, but now he’s on the very of fighting for a world title.
The WBO ordered their world champion at 175, Sergey Kovalev, to make a mandatory defense against Yarde.
The two sides are in negotiations. They have a deadline in mid-April to reach an agreement or head to purse bids.
After a very brief amateur career, Yarde is certainly learning on the job.
Despite the short run in the pros, he feels ready to take on the challenge of Kovalev, who at one time was recognized as one of the top pound for pound fighters in the sport, but has lost three of his last six fights.
“I have been doing my apprenticeship as a boxer in public because things have escalated for me so quickly. But I guess if you keep knocking people out then it is going to get attention very quickly,” Yarde told the UK Evening Standard.
“Every year as a professional I have been further ahead than I planned. Now I feel as if I have the beating of all the world champions out there and if I get the Kovalev fight, I won’t be fazed. It is a difficult juggling act when you knock people out so regularly because you also want to get experience in the ring. But that is what the people want to see and if it is there for the taking, you have to go for it.
“It has meant growing up as a fighter under a lot of but that’s the way it is and I’m happy to deal with that. I know that I am ready. There is a reason, too, why I only had 12 amateur fights. Nobody would fight me because I won 11 times by knockout. So I had to turn pro.”
Kovalev, a three time world champion, regained his title earlier this year with a dominating twelve round unanimous decision in his rematch with Eleider Alvarez.