- Kovalev vs Yarde goes Saturday, August 24th at 12:30 PM ET
- Can Kovalev regain some of the shine he had prior to the Ward losses?
- Can Yarde capture a significant world title from one of the best light-heavys of this generation?
Kovalev vs Yarde emanates from Traktor Sport Palace in Chelyabinsk, Russia. This WBO light-heavyweight title fight has the boxing world buzzing. The 12 round contest pits a hungry KO artist from the UK challenging the number one ranked, per Box Rec, Russian champion.
This card is being put on by Queensberry Promotions, Main Events, and Titov/ RCC Boxing Promotions. Negotiations have been going on for this fight since March and now the bout is finally coming to fruition. The main event prize fight goes on ESPN+ and your betting odds/ fight breakdown can be found below.
Kovalev vs Yarde Odds
*Odds taken 08/19/19.
Kovalev vs Yarde will see the champ defending at home and the challenger will be looking to invade the proverbial village to take the prize. Kovalev has largely fought in North America through his pro career, so a “home game” will be intriguing in as far as if it galvanizes his performance or if there’s extra pressure.
Yarde’s decision to take this title fight on Russian soil is indicative of the confidence and bravado he has that has led to his early success, but I just think Kovalev will be too much.
Kovalev successfully defends
Yarde has a near 95 percent knockout rate. This obviously can lend itself well in a fight where there’s such an experience disparity. Kovalev has more than double the fights and was already a multi-time reigning world champion before Yarde made his pro debut.
Kovalev has a respectable KO rate in his own right as he sits at 76 percent. In fact, a former opponent who is quite familiar with Kovalev is leaning towards the sitting champion perhaps getting a stoppage win.
"I see Sergey Kovalev, maybe stoppage. That's your headline for you!" ?
— Boxing on BT Sport ? (@BTSportBoxing) August 18, 2019
The unbeaten 28-year-old contender takes on the battle-tested 36-year-old champion. It’s the toughest test Yarde has ever faced and many see it as a make or break moment. Notably, Tyson Fury said Yarde should probably hang it up if he’s unable to beat Kovalev. The logic is rooted in how a good younger fighter should beat an older fighter, with Fury believing Kovalev is on a bit of a slide since the pair of losses to Andre Ward.
Kovalev rebounded in style by defeating Eleider Álvarez who had snatched Kovalev’s WBO title in the prior bout. After avenging a loss and regaining his WBO title for the second time earlier this year, Kovalev is looking to also log a successful title defense during his 2019 campaign.
Yarde has held a variety of European and Intercontinental titles but this is a big step up for him as he enters the world title picture against a generational fighter in his own right.
Kovalev vs Yarde Tale of the Tape
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Yarde has some level of intrigue surrounding him but there’s no source material for how he does against world-class opposition. I could see Kovalev getting either a finish inside of six rounds or a thorough unanimous decision win.
I’m leaning a bit more towards the stoppage of some sort though. I have Kovalev all day in this title fight.
Pick: Kovalev (-170)