The boxing world has reacted to Anthony Yarde’s 11th round defeat to WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev.
The 28-year old Brit travelled to Russia to face Kovalev in his own backyard and despite starting well and having the 36-year-old champion in trouble in the eighth, gassed in the later rounds.
Former undisputed heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis: “Big up to Sergey Kovalev on a big win proving he still has gas in that tank. Anthony Yarde is an up and coming talent. Hold your head high, your stock is rising and you will bounce back.”
Former two-division world champion Carl Frampton: “Yarde can win a world title, but he must spar. I’ve never heard anything as ridiculous.”
Former undisputed light heavyweight champion Andre Ward, who defeated Kovalev twice before retiring undefeated: “Yarde was two to three punches away from stopping Kovalev. Yarde can fight, he just needs to make adjustments with his camp. Respect to him. Kovalev proved he’s still got something left, but he needs to grab that Canelo money and then, peace out. At this point every fight will be hard for him.”
Former British super middleweight champion Paul Smith Jr: “If Yarde was ever going to do it, it was then. He had one great round and didn’t capitalise. Showed he belongs at that level, but it was all Kovalev in a good fight. He will kick himself for the rest of his life for taking round nine off.”
Irish featherweight contender Michael Conlan: “What a fight. Well done Anthony Yarde. If I’m honest I thought he wouldn’t get past six rounds but my God was I wrong. A very good performance against a fighter like Kovalev! Almost had him but he somehow survived.”
Former British light heavyweight champion Frank Buglioni: “Serious respect to Yarde, gave it everything and came so close to winning. Hold your head high champ! Definitely proved your heart, chin and desire!”