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‘Big fights up at cruiserweight’: Trainer says Anthony Yarde willing to face Chris Billam-Smith

Tunde Ajayi believes there are lots of big opportunities out there for Anthony Yarde and that they could soon be fighting at 200 lbs.

Anthony Yarde’s trainer says he can easily make the move up to the cruiserweight limit.
Anthony Yarde’s trainer says he can easily make the move up to the cruiserweight limit.
Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images
Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

Light heavyweight contender Anthony Yarde has twice fallen short at world title opportunities, but could soon be targeting a third if he and his trainer Tunde Ajayi have their way. Ajayi tells Sky Sports that they’re currently eyeing the possibilities and wouldn’t hesitate to take on a fight against Chris Billam-Smith.

“There are some great fights, some great possibilities for Anthony primarily as the fighter and myself as the manager and trainer to explore. We were even talking about big fights up at cruiserweight,” Tunde Ajayi, his coach and manager, told Sky Sports. “I would even go so far, if you put the right proposal to Anthony now, he’ll fight Chris Billam-Smith tomorrow. 100 million percent.”

Billam-Smith, who holds the WBO’s cruiserweight belt, is most recently coming off of a stoppage win over Mateusz Masternak last month and took a majority decision win over Lawrence Okolie several months prior.

According to Ajayi, Yarde has been a natural cruiserweight his entire career and it says it was only his extreme level of dedication that allowed him to fight at 175. Therefore, despite the 25 lb gap between the weight classes, it’s a weight class Ajayi says Yarde can easily compete in.

“It’s no secret, he’s a massive light-heavyweight in terms of width. He packs a punch. We know that he’s capable of fighting as a cruiserweight no problem.”

Whether or not Yarde gets the opportunity he and his trainer say they’re looking for remains to be seen, but they are confident they’ll get their shot once again.

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