Yarde on Buatsi: He and me can get it crackin'

Anthony Yarde returns this weekend with the Hackney light-heavyweight contender still in his pursuit of a big-name or world title opportunity. 

Yarde challenged bravely against Artur Beterbiev in January 2023, playing his part in a thrilling performance in a Fight of the Year contender, before being halted in eight rounds. 

Yarde boxes Marko Nikolic in a scheduled 10-rounder on Saturday but feels he is ready to face more big names. 

“For myself, I feel like I’m in a very, very good position for big fights,” Yarde told reporters. “Buatsi is one of them big fights. Callum Smith now, again, that’s another big fight.”

Smith also took to the ring last month against Beterbiev in Quebec City. Despite the best efforts of the super-middleweight world champion, Smith was ultimately outgunned by Beterbiev, who dropped Smith twice in the seventh before trainer Buddy McGirt withdrew Smith. 

Yarde took inspiration from his own performance against the hard-hitting unified 175lb king.

“The difference with someone like Callum Smith is that he’s fought world champions, the biggest name in boxing, Canelo, Beterbiev walked through him [Smith],” Yarde added. “That gave me a lot of credit. I feel like that’s another potentially big fight.” 

Yarde, however, was not ruling out a possible switch to cruiserweight either, with WBO world champion Chris Billam-Smith also on the Londoner’s wishlist of opponents. 

“To be honest with you, even this cruiserweight thing, that Chris Billam-Smith, people have been talking about that,” said Yarde. “Again, everybody knows me. I don’t shy away from facts. That’s just not how I’m built. If the fights make sense, we can make it happen.” 

Yarde is also open to the possibility of fighting London rival Joshua BVuatsi, in a fight that has been spoken about for years.

“I said it on Sky Sports, they were talking about the fight [Yarde vs Buatsi}, so I said, ‘Yeah. If he [Buatsi] wins the fight [against Dan Azeez], hopefully, he and me can get it crackin’,” said Yarde.