Kovalev expects Beterbiev to 'crush' Yarde in first six rounds

Former light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev backs his amateur rival, Artur Beterbiev, in the mandatory fight with Anthony Yarde.

In 2019, Kovalev made a mandatory WBO title defense against Yarde in Russia.

In the second half of the fight, Yarde got into serious trouble with Kovalev and looked close to being knocked out. Kovalev was able to survive and eventually stopped an exhausted Yarde in the championship rounds.

Saturday night in London, Yarde will get his second gold medal when he challenges Beterbiev for the IBF, WBO, WBC light heavyweight titles.

Kovalev, who now competes at cruiserweight, explains that he was exhausted for the fight and still managed to overcome Yarde’s rally and stop him.

Beterbiev is a formidable favorite in the fight, with Yarde best suited to have a punching chance.

Kovalev doesn’t expect the fight to go into the second half – with his prediction that Beterbiev will get a stoppage in the first six rounds of the fight.

“I think it’s going to be an interesting fight, but in my opinion Artur is going to break it. I was in trouble when I fought Anthony Yarde. I got in trouble in the seventh or eighth round because I was drained of my energy losing weight. I lost over 15 pounds for this fight. He couldn’t stop me,” Kovalev told Ring IQ.

“What I think is Artur will finish him in the middle of the fight. It’s boxing. No later than six. I think so, five, six. They are both tall, strong and smart. Therefore, it’s an interesting fight, but I think yes, Beterbiev will crush him before the middle of the fight.

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