An audience with Anthony Yarde
Image courtesy of The Fitting Room
At the end of a successful 2017 for light heavyweight Anthony Yarde, Paul Zanon caught up with the 26-year-old hot prospect at a special event: 'Since 93 x Shake Shack - presents Anthony Yarde: Boxing and Burgers'...
To some, the opportunity to walk around Westfield shopping centre in Stratford and peruse the pre-Christmas sales, is their idea of fun.
To me it’s hell on earth.
Being an ardent internet shopper, it would take a lot more for me to make the trek from SW London.
Thankfully there was a good reason for me to go on Wednesday - a question and answer session with none other than the current WBO light heavyweight European champion, Anthony Yarde.
The evening, co-ordinated by The Fitting Room PR company, was hosted at Shake Shack. Not a great place if you are a fighter trying to make weight, simply because the food is so delicious. Thankfully, neither Anthony, his trusty trainer, Tunde Ajayi, his entourage, or myself had such burdens to contend with on this particular evening, and gladly partook in the savoury offerings pushed our way.
Yarde stressed that he still has hopes to fight for the coveted British title. However, a fight with current holder Frank Buglioni is not a clear cut path.
“We offered to fight him after my ninth fight, but then he went quiet," Yarde said. "In the meantime, I had more fights and went up in the rankings. We then offered Buglioni good money [Yarde mentions six figure sums] and he wanted me to fight Hosea Burton first. The fact is, I already had a better world ranking than both of them by this point, so what was the point? That said – if a contract is drawn up, I’ll fight him tomorrow.”
Yarde, unbeaten in 14 fights, with 13 stoppages, is due to fight again on 10 February 2018 at The Copper Box. His foe is unknown as of yet, but Yarde is confident it will be a ranked opponent to put him one step closer to reaching his ultimate goal of becoming a world champion.
When asked about the current new crop of world champions in his division, the Ilford favourite said, “I’m just concentrating on myself for the moment. I leave that [world title shots] to Frank Warren to sort out. I take it fight by fight and prepare for whoever is in front of me.”
The endearing and affable Yarde made himself openly available to everyone who attended the event, which not only included the London division of fans, but even those from as far afield as Leeds, who had specifically come down to meet the 14-0 colossus.
He especially took the time to encourage a young boy who looked around eight years old, who had already racked up a perfect record of six wins in six fights and who represents Repton.
Yarde then signed off with a warm goodbye to his fans: “Without you all I’d be lost. Thank you for all your support this year. You can expect more fights, more positive outcomes in 2018. Thank you again!”