Anthony Yarde exclusive: I want another world title shot after Artur Beterbiev thriller

Comeback: Yarde is back in action on the Joyce vs Zhang undercard  (Action Images via Reuters)
Comeback: Yarde is back in action on the Joyce vs Zhang undercard (Action Images via Reuters)

Anthony Yarde has targeted a third world-title shot - and believes he will make it third time lucky after his fight of the year contender against unified light-heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev.

The Ilford fighter was stopped by the Canadian in the eighth round of a pulsating clash at Wembley Arena in January, his second aborted world-title challenge after defeat by Sergey Kovalev in 2019.

But the 32-year-old received much acclaim from a performance which had the unbeaten Beterbiev rocking before he succumbed, leaving him to rebuild and try and build towards another title tilt, boosted this time by the praise ringing in his ears.

“Initially it was disappointment but I look back as a boxing fan now and can say ‘what a fight’,” the east Londoner said, reflecting on that clash eight months ago.

“It was toe to toe for the duration. Pure entertainment. I don’t look for validation from people but I got a lot of respect for that. And remember - guys like Kovalev and Beterbiev have 300, 400 amateur fights - I had 12.”

Yarde is busy working on his future outside the ring but insists he is hungry for more inside it, even if he has had to lick his wounds twice after reaching the biggest stage.

Now with a record of 23-3, he returns to action back at Wembley Arena on the undercard of Joe Joyce’s heavyweight rematch against Zhilei Zhang on Saturday night, against 40-year-old Portuguese Jorge Silva, ready to start again.

“Boxing is an unforgiving sport and what drives me is legacy. People could say ‘you had a couple of chances at world-title level, it’s finished’ but I feel I’m getting better when I’m there,” Yarde adds.

“You set your path and you might trip up a couple of times but it is about finishing the marathon. Life is about mistakes. I want to accomplish so much but look how far I’ve come.”

The mutual respect between the pair was clear on a sensational night in the capital and Yarde admits he made a direct enquiry about fighting Beterbiev again.

He revealed: “If there had been a rematch clause, I would have exercised it immediately. We were having our stitches done after the fight and I said to him: ‘Beterbiev, round two, rematch, me and you’. He just pointed at me and said back: ‘You, no, no, no!’.”

Yarde caused Beterbiev problems during their world title clash in January (Getty Images)
Yarde caused Beterbiev problems during their world title clash in January (Getty Images)

Yarde feels he doesn’t need to put a time limit on his career but is working on a bright future and getting his business interests in order for when he does one day hang up his gloves.

To that end he has taken note of those who have suffered in retirement. “I observe things a lot and some guys think they’ll be fighting forever,” he says.

“You have to make sure you’re not doing all this for no reason. I try to be unrealistic in terms of my ambitions realistic in terms of my position in boxing.

“The reality is, I’m not going to be fighting in 20 years. When I retire, I want to be in a comfortable position and I also want to be in a comfortable position during my career.”

Yarde has his eyes on only one contest once he comes through this weekend’s outing: Joshua Buatsi v Dan Azeez at the O2 on October 21. He plans to be ringside and take on the winner.

“Definitely - why not? You want to be in the best fights. Even though it is not for a world title, it’s the next biggest one out there,” he explains.

“If Buatsi wins, it is bigger in my opinion. If Azeez wins, we could wait a couple of fights. Buatsi has been coming, we’ve met a few times and spoken about it and said it is the fight for us. There’s never a right time, maybe, so we have to make sure it happens now.”

Zhang v Joyce II will be shown live on TNT Sports tomorrow night. Tickets are available now from and