Artur Beterbiev returns to action on Saturday in a three-belt light heavyweight title defense against Anthony Yarde.
Yarde has home field advantage in London, but the unbeaten Beterbiev is a heavy favorite in the fight.
Can Yarde pull a shocker, or will Beterbiev keep marching through his opposition.
Scott Christ (4-4)
Let’s be honest, I’m already out of the race. Fuck it. Yarde TKO-10
OK, listen — I probably am out of the race already. We all know my track record. But this is too early to wing one. I do think Yarde has a shot — two, actually. Either he can weather Beterbiev early and have his own power hold up late, winning a war of attrition, or he catches him as they trade early. Yarde’s a big, strong dude, and he can crack. Beterbiev gets hit. But I just think Beterbiev’s craft should be enough, and he hits harder than anyone Yarde has fought, too. I don’t think this lasts long. I do think it’s a war. But until proven otherwise, Beterbiev remains the Terminator in my mind, in part because it’s just more fun that way. Beterbiev TKO-5
Wil Esco (4-4)
There will surely come a time where age is going to catch up to Artur Beterbiev. The hard part is figuring out exactly when that will come to pass as Father Time could show up at just about any moment. I don’t, however, believe this will be the moment for Beterbiev. Anthony Yarde is going to come into this fight game and looking to do damage, but there’s a real disparity in craftsmanship that I think will benefit Beterbiev should he still be the same guy we all know and love.
The more pressure Yarde brings, I suspect the easier it’ll be for Beterbiev to land the fight changing shot that brings about the beginning of the end. That will, however, also put Yarde in position to potentially sway the fight in his favor. Whichever way it does, I don’t see this fight heading to the final bell. In fact, I think Beterbiev’s power ends up making a real impression on Yarde who will ultimately get overwhelmed and stopped. Beterbiev TKO-6
John Hansen (7-1)
Two out of three Beterbiev fights end with a knockout in less than four full rounds. Nothing about Yarde indicates he’s content to hang around and try to survive to see cards. It should be a rollicking good time as long as it lasts, but it probably won’t last very long. There’s always the chance Beterbiev’s latest injury or birthday have compromised him, but I’ll believe it when I see it. Beterbiev TKO-4
Patrick Stumberg (6-2)
My dream for this fight is that Beterbiev kicks Yarde’s ass so badly that the latter finally gets a proper trainer. Yarde is a supercar going 60 on the Autobahn because the guy behind the wheel can’t drive stick. Watching fighters fail to realize their potential bums me out, but nothing pisses me off quite like seeing them willingly decline to press the big red “Get Better” button dangling in front of their faces.
Call it Edmond Tarverdyan PTSD.
Luckly for me and my irrational anger, Beterbiev’s up to the task. He’s so much more technically adept than Yarde that the speed difference won’t matter, especially once Beterbiev starts tearing up his midsection. “Dynamic but inconsistent” is not a formula to beat someone this seasoned, especially not when Beterbiev’s got the power to meet him head-on. It’ll take a couple rounds for Beterbiev to get dialed in, but once he does, he’ll bludgeon Yarde into oblivion. Beterbiev TKO-8
Artem Dalakian vs David Jimenez
- Scott: Jimenez MD-12
- Wil: Dalakian UD-12
- John: Dalakian TKO-9
- Patrick: Jimenez SD-12
- Odds: Dalakian -140, Jimenez +110 (DraftKings)
Note: We did have picks set for Alexis Rocha vs Anthony Young, but we’re scrapping those because I didn’t find “George Ashie is the new opponent” something that triggered my desire to email everyone again. — Scott