Sergey Kovalev Knocks Out Anthony Yarde in Russia
By Hector Franco | Senior Writer and Editor
Published: August 24, 2019
CHELYABINSK, RUSSIA – The old sports adage of “youth vs. experience” was on display at the Traktor Sports Palace in Chelyabinsk, Russia as Sergey Kovalev (34-3-1, 29 KOs) defended his WBO Light Heavyweight championship against the United Kingdom’s Anthony Yarde (18-1, 17 KOs).
The bout with Yarde was Kovalev’s fourth professional match in his country of Russia and the first defense of his WBO Light Heavyweight championship, which he has now held on three separate occasions.
At 36 years of age, Kovalev was facing a younger fighter in Yarde, 28, who was fighting for his first world title. Yarde began boxing at just the age of 19 and accumulated little amateur experience before turning professional.
As a professional who was fighting in his 16th straight world title fight with over 200 amateur bouts and ten years of professional boxing experience, Kovalev went into the match as the clear favorite.
The match started slowly with both men measuring one another. It was evident from the beginning that Yarde had quicker hands and could also establish his own jab to combat Kovalev’s.
The first four rounds of the fight could have been split evenly as both worked behind the jab with not much separating the two pugilists.
In the fifth round, the pace of the match picked up as Kovalev began to let his hands go while applying pressure on the younger British fighter.
Yarde would respond in the seventh and eighth rounds by counteracting Kovalev’s volume by throwing more punches to the body. Kovalev has a history of not liking getting hit to the body, as it tends to impact him immediately.
The eighth round, in particular, was Yarde’s best round as he knocked Kovalev all around the ring landing devastating power punches to the Russian power punchers body.
Kovalev’s trainer Buddy McGirt in between rounds threatened to stop the bout if Kovalev did not respond with a good round following the punishment he took in the eighth.
At this point in the fight, Kovalev’s edge in experience paid off in dividends.
In the ninth round, Kovalev had one of his best rounds as he attacked Yarde behind his jab at a distance and clinched the British fighter when he got too close.
Yarde was visibly becoming more and more tired after the sixth round, and by the tenth round, he was running on fumes.
Kovalev had another great round in the tenth landing his jab consistently all round and cornering Yarde while landing a barrage of punches to end the round.
The bout came to a close in the eleventh round when Kovalev landed a beautifully timed left jab that put Yarde on the canvas and out for the count. The match was stopped at the 2:04 mark of the eleventh round.
Despite some of the obvious flaws and weaknesses that Kovalev has, he is still an elite Light Heavyweight who has the ability to defeat most of the fighters in the division.
The rumor is that Kovalev could be next in line to take on boxing’s current cash cow Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
Alvarez is known as the best body puncher in the sport, and it would be considered an even matchup despite Kovalev’s size advantages.
In defeat, Yarde gave an excellent account for himself.
With more experience and possible changes to his training regimen, fans could see Yarde holding a world title of his own in the near future.
(Featured Photo: Main Events)