Sergey Kovalev vs Anthony Yarde: Champion mocks challenger claiming ‘he thinks he is a lion, but he is a cub’

Sports Staff

Sergey Kovalev has mocked the ambitions of Britain’s Anthony Yarde ahead of their WBO light-heavyweight title fight in Chelyabinsk on Saturday night.The unbeaten Yarde will start as a big underdog against his Russian opponent but has insisted he is intent on scoring a knockout victory.However the hard-hitting Kovalev, who has scored 28 stoppage wins in his 37 fights, dismissed Yarde’s chances of pulling off what would rank as one of the best British boxing victories abroad.Kovalev told a press conference: “He calls himself a lion but to me he is a cub," referencing Yarde's signature 'Lions in the camp' slogan. "I will have to get rid of all that baby fur off his skin so he will run away back home.“He has had a lot of fights and he’s won them by KO (and) he thinks he will knock me out, but Saturday will show.”Despite Kovalev’s barbs, Yarde maintained his relaxed demeanour throughout a tense press conference and staredown. “This is a fight of experience and youth,” said Yarde. “Experience plays a part but how you perform on the night is what matters.”“Where I’ve come from, I rose very quickly to be here,” he said. “I’m happy to be at this level and I’m going to make the most of it.“I’m going to focus on myself, be the best I can be and get the knockout victory, because that’s what I feel I need to do to win the fight.”PA