Yarde (17-0, 16 KOs), 27, faces Travis Reeves (17-3-2, 7 KOs) on Friday at London’s Royal Albert Corridor in a 10-round gentle heavyweight contest, which will probably be streamed dwell on ESPN+ within the U.S. and on BT Sport within the U.Okay.
The Londoner is No. 1 with the WBO and is specializing in dethroning Kovalev — who impressively regained the WBO title in a rematch with Eleider Alvarez final month — after his contest with Reeves fairly than pursuing a home conflict with English rival Joshua Buatsi.
No person knew what Sergey Kovalev would deliver to the desk in opposition to Eleider Alvarez of their rematch, however the 35-year-old supplied some strategical changes and a glimpse into how the following stage of his profession will play out.
“I am obligatory challenger now, which is a implausible place to be in particularly with somebody with my background of solely 12 novice fights earlier than turning skilled [in May 2015]. That is motivating me and exhibiting me the extent I am at now.
“I used to be supplied the Kovalev battle in 2018 however my supervisor and promoter agreed it wasn’t the fitting time for me to be difficult for a world title then. I wanted a number of extra tuneup fights, studying fights, and I am nice with that.
“There are nonetheless some inquiries to be answered with my expertise. I am a fighter, I’ll battle anybody, and I really feel like I am prepared. It is in my nature to be able to battle anyone, however my promoter [Frank Warren] is attempting to steer my profession in the very best method.
“It is about getting in there and being prepared, getting the battle in your phrases, taking the least quantity of punishment potential.
“I need to have a 10-year-plus profession, I am three years in now and I really feel prefer it’s coming, I am near it.
“That point could be very close to the place I am within the highlight, and I feel it is undoubtedly potential for me to be world champion quickly. I am trying to battle for a world title by the top of 2019. Buatsi is a future competitor, I am forward of him proper now, and I am glad for that to maintain brewing. There is not any rush for it now.”
Reeves, from Baltimore, has registered two factors victories since being stopped within the last spherical by Karo Murat nearly a yr in the past, and Yarde considers him a worthy opponent for this stage in his profession.
“I undoubtedly assume he is a step up and I need to make impression on ESPN and impress an American viewers,” Yarde added.
“I am thrilling to observe, I do know individuals out and I am in place with the WBO, however my opponent involves win and I’ve to maintain doing my job within the ring if I would like all of this to occur.”