How Anthony Yarde ended up fighting at a Madrid nightclub after Sergey Kovalev KO

Just over a year ago, Anthony Yarde travelled to Russia to challenge Sergey Kovalev for his WBO light-heavyweight world title.

It was an incredibly bold move for the untested Brit to jump straight to the top level against an established champion and almost paid off in style.

Kovalev outjabbed Yarde for much of their fight

Kovalev outjabbed Yarde for much of their fight

Yarde rocked Kovalev badly in round eight and appeared to have him out on his feet, but the experienced veteran recovered to KO his fatigued foe three rounds later.

The 29-year-old is now set to make his ring return against Dec Spelman on Saturday night, but many forget he had a fight in between.

In February, Yarde went on an undercover mission to the Memphis Nightclub in Madrid, Spain, for an off-TV bout against a journeyman. got wind of this plan in the days before it happened and promoter Frank Warren explained the reasoning behind it.

Yarde nearly stopped Kovalev

Yarde nearly stopped Kovalev

“He’s just been out the ring for a while so he’ll just have a run out,” he said at the time.

“He’ll get back in and get that rust out of his system.”

There was also a situation with the WBO potentially allowing Yarde to compete for their vacant title.

After Kovalev stopped the Brit, he was then knocked out by Canelo Alvarez who instantly dropped the belt.

Kovalev KOd Yarde in round eleven

Kovalev KOd Yarde in round eleven

As a result, the sanctioning body ordered a four-man box-off to decide who would claim the crown.

If any of those four had pulled out, Yarde would’ve stepped in.

However, he would not have been allowed to if he was coming off of a loss – hence the need for the bout in Spain.

“They called two eliminators, but if one of the guys pulls out [Yarde would jump in],” Warren added.

Yarde scored a knockdown with a body shot

Gancho Boxeo – YouTube

Yarde scored a knockdown with a body shot

When the fight went ahead, Yarde picked up an easy win as expected.

The opponent for this bout at the Madrid nightclub was Diego Jair Ramirez – a Colombian journeyman with a record of 4-48-3.

Britain’s ‘Beast From The East’ comprehensively outclassed his foe, flooring him with a right hook to the body in the second round.

He then upped the tempo further to force a stoppage moments later.

“It was a different experience, I’ve never fought in Spain before,” Yarde reflected to a few weeks later.

Regarding criticism of the opponent, he said: “It’s boxing, people need to go back and do their research on the history of boxing.

“Look at people like who Roberto Duran was fighting in their 20th or 30th fight, someone like Rocky Marciano. Odd fights.

“Even someone relevant and current right now like Canelo Alvarez, fights that he had off of television.

His record is now 19-1 (18 KOs)


His record is now 19-1 (18 KOs)

“Fights they had behind the scenes. He didn’t get to 42-0 at the age of 21 just by having big fights that everyone knew about.

“You go and gain experience.

“And obviously as Frank said, coming off of a loss, we got into that area where we could’ve fought for a vacant title, it couldn’t have happened off of a loss.

“So we just wanted to get a fight out there, I wasn’t in the ring for around five or six months.

Yarde will be looking to work his way back into title contention in 2020


Yarde will be looking to work his way back into title contention in 2020

“That’s a long time, especially at this point in my career, I’m 28 years old and I didn’t want to keep that thing in the back of my mind.

“I haven’t taken anything from it like, ‘Oh yeah, it was an opponent that was amazing and I went out there and beat him up.’

“It was more of a thing for me just to get back in the boxing ring.

“When you’re in the ring, there’s no feeling like actually being in the boxing ring, it’s different.”

Yarde will now get to experience that feeling once again as he looks to properly begin his rebuild against Spelman on Saturday.

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Boxing – talkSPORT

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