Sergey Kovalev vs. Anthony Yarde
|Date & Time||Saturday August 24, 2019, 12:00 PM (EDT)|
Traktor Sport Palace
The Line: Yarde +196 / Kovalev -224 -- Over/Under:
Sergey Kovalev and Anthony Yarde fight Saturday at the Traktor Sport Palace for the World Boxing Organisation World Light Heavy Title.
Sergey Kovalev enters this fight with a 33-3-1 record that includes 28 knockouts. Kovalev has split his last six fights, and he’s coming off a February win over Eleider Alvarez. Kovalev redeemed himself with a rematch victory over Alvarez, as he landed double the amount of shots and was the much busier worker over 12 rounds. Kovalev wasn’t perfect in the victory, but it certainly beat his previous effort against the Colombian and quiets some of the critics who say he’s washed up. Kovalev is a 36-year-old Russian who stands at 6’0”, has a 72.5-inch reach and an orthodox stance. Kovalev has a very high boxing IQ who picks his spots well and starts to let his hands go more as he starts to settle into the fight. Kovalev is one of the better power punchers in the division and only three of his victories since 2011 have seen the distance. Four of Kovalev’s last six victories have ended in the seventh round or earlier, and despite some recent hiccups, that one-punch knockout potential can’t be ignored. However, conditioning has been an issue with Kovalev at this stage of his career and he had moments in his last fight as well where he started to fade. This will be Kovalev’s fourth career fight in Russia, his birthplace.
Anthony Yarde enters this fight with a 18-0 record that includes 17 knockouts. This will be Yarde’s fifth fight since 2018, and he’s coming off a March win over Travis Reeves. Yarde has quietly been building a name in the United Kingdom and finally gets a chance on the big stage to really prove he’s one of the best boxers within this division. The best opponent Yarde has probably faced up to this point was Nikola Sjekloca, and he knocked him out in the fourth round. Yarde is 28 years old, stands at 6’0”, has a 72-inch reach and an orthodox stance. Yarde is a big guy who throws every punch with a lot of force behind it, as even his jab is capable of buckling legs, and he has a straight right that is absolutely devastating. While he has knockout potential in both hands, Yarde puts his combinations together nicely and is quite accurate for a guy his size. Yarde also has some patience to him, as it’s easy to see guys his size swing wildly and look for a quick stoppage. Yarde also has decent defense and good footwork. This will be Yarde’s second career fight outside of England.
Kovalev is going to be the favorite because of the name and resume, and Yarde hasn’t been in the ring with anyone close his caliber. With that said, Kovalev is a bit of a shell of himself and consistently has rounds where he fades due to fatigue. Yarde is a young power puncher who could take advantage of that, and he would be wise to work the body in this contest. Yarde has worked the body well in the past, and I expect him to deliver some powerful blows to the midsection here as well. You can harp on the resume all you’d like, but there’s no denying Yarde is a highly skilled boxer in a well put together body. Throw in the recent hiccups and Kovalev’s age, and this has the recipe for being an upset.
Based on the plus money, I’ll take a chance with Yarde to shock the Russian.