Anthony Yarde’s low-key comeback a smart move in pursuit of another world title shot

Anthony Yarde is back in the game, though if you blinked you might have missed it.

A week ago on the outskirts of Madrid, Yarde got his career back on track with a second round stoppage against Colombian journeyman Diego Ramirez.

It was a smart move by Yarde to ease his way into contention for another crack at the WBO light heavyweight title with a low-risk engagement against a game opponent.

Since the WBO will not consider a title shot for a fighter coming off a defeat, Yarde slipped in and out of the Spanish night with his record repaired after the loss to Sergey Kovalev.

Anthony Yarde (pictured in 2017) got his career back on track
(Image: X03812)

Yarde was just one big shot from glory against Kovalev, who was in real trouble in the eighth round of their bout last August in Russia.

It was a risk to head to the home turf of the champion but it almost paid off. Kovalev recovered and used all his experience to settle it in the 11th with Yarde obviously fatigued.

Yarde was a late starter, lacing gloves for the first time at 20 and turning pro after barely a dozen amateur bouts.

He clearly has talent and power but at the highest level it’s all about the fine margins. Ultimately, given his sparse amateur background, the jump to world level in his 19th pro fight came a smidgen too soon.

Sergey Kovalev lands on Anthony Yarde during their bout in August last year
(Image: Valery Sharifulin/TASS)

That is the lesson he will take forward as he waits for the WBO to call. Kovalev’s subsequent defeat to Saul Alvarez was ultimately a compliment to how close to the wire Yarde had taken him.

Kovalev admitted he had not recovered sufficiently but could not afford to turn down the purse on offer to face Alvarez.

Having achieved his aim of a world title at light heavy, Canelo has since relinquished the WBO title, which creates another opportunity for Yarde.

Though Yarde does not feature in the two eliminators ordered by the WBO between Gilberto Ramirez and Eleider Alvarez and Umar Salamov and Maxim Vlasov, he is now theoretically available in case of a withdrawal.

Yarde was a late starter, lacing gloves for the first time at 20 and turning pro after barely a dozen amateur bouts
(Image: X03812)

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It’s now about being busy for Yarde, about finding the right opponent while waiting for his chance.

Someone like Joe Smith, who beat Bernard Hopkins but lost on points to WBA champ Dmitry Bivol, or Sullivan Barrera, who beat Smith but was stopped by Bivol, would be ideal.

Smith is not quite world class and Berrara too long in the tooth at 37 after a long amateur career in Cuba.

Diego Ramirez does not win many but had been stopped only once in his previous 27 bouts before Yarde walked through him.

That’s what KO power does to you, and why Yarde will always have a chance.

Follow Barry on Twitter at @ClonesCyclone @McGuigans_Gym @CyclonePromo

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