Anthony Yarde confident of defeating Sergey Kovalev despite “knowing nothing”

Anthony Cocks

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Light heavyweight contender Anthony Yarde 18-0 (17) says he has no idea what to expect when he faces WBO champion Sergey Kovalev 33-3-1 (28) at the Traktor Sport Palace in Chelyabinsk, Russia on Saturday night.

“I have no clue and that is the excitement for me,” said the 28-year-old to the Mirror.

“I don’t know nothing, literally nothing! I don’t know what the venue is going to look like, what the crowd is going to be like…

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“I might go out there and some of the crowd will be cheering for me. We might be fighting in the gym of his old secondary school. I don’t know.

“Again, that is the beauty of it and that is the challenge.”

But despite the challenge, Yarde says it’s nothing compare to growing up on the gang-ridden streets of Hackney.

“I saw a lot of bad things happen by people I know and to people I know,” says Yarde. “There were a lot of different gangs around and sometimes you found yourself in conflict.

“I found myself attracting negative things because I was in a negative environment, I was pre-determining this stuff before it happened.

“One day guns were pulled on us by older guys. My friend had gone to sell his moped and they took the moped, my friend’s phone and some money.

“But all he got from my pocket was a tub of Vaseline. I remember him saying, ‘Oh, he’s a sweet boy’ and throwing my Vaseline on the floor.

“But now I’m on a straight path and when you think about positive things, positive things follow you.”

Yarde believes that arriving in Russia early will be the key to success.

“We have given ourselves enough time to acclimatise, get used to the atmosphere and get the mind right,” he said. “Then come fight night I will go out there and do the job.

“I’ll just adapt. Food wise, I’ll try and find a supermarket and try and find things that don’t look too foreign. I’ll have normal food; tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, chicken and fish.

“We’ll see when we get there, but this is part of the excitement, we don’t know what we’re going to get.

“He’s thinking, ‘This guy has only had 18 professional fights, he only had 12 amateur fights and I’m a future Hall of Famer, I can’t let this kid come and beat me’.

“But that’s what’s going to happen.”

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