Artur Beterbiev will head to the United Kingdom to defend his three light heavyweight titles against Anthony Yarde on Saturday, Jan. 28, with the fight made official today after Yarde’s tune-up win against Steffani Koykov.
Yarde (23-1, 22 KO) got through the win with no issues, no cuts or anything, stopping Koykov in the third round. That made the January date with Beterbiev (18-0, 18 KO) official, as it had already basically been set, only with Yarde getting through today OK as a potential issue.
Yarde has been Beterbiev’s IBF mandatory since his Dec. 2021 rematch win over Lyndon Arthur, and stepped aside earlier this year to allow Beterbiev and Joe Smith Jr to unify three belts — the WBC and IBF, which Beterbiev already held, and the WBO, which Smith lost to Beterbiev in June.
Beterbiev vs Yarde was also meant to happen in late October, but Beterbiev was injured during camp and had to postpone.
The Jan. 28 date has been the working idea for a bit now, but Yarde didn’t want to come in with 13 months of inactivity, which is fair enough.
Does Yarde have a shot at upsetting Beterbiev in January?