Sergey Kovalev and Anthony Yarde come face to face in Russia and exchange some words
Anthony Yarde will take on WBO World Light Heavyweight Champion Sergey Kovalev on Saturday night in Chelyabinsk, Russia live on BT Sport 2.
Yarde (18-0, 17KOs) met Kovalev (33-3-1, 28KOs) for the first time today at their fight week press conference.
Here are a selection of quotes from the media event ahead of Saturday night’s show.
“I’m just here to do a job… and enjoy myself.”
“I haven’t done no trash talking. I don’t do trash talking. I posted pictures, to me they are good pictures. I am a fighter, that’s what I’m meant to visualise. I’m meant to see these things in my mind, the same way Kovalev probably sees things in his mind. As fighters we want to do the best we can so we visualise what we want to happen. I posted a picture that a fan made, when I saw this picture I reposted it as that’s what’s going to happen.” (In reference to a journalist’s question on an Anthony Yarde social media post)
“I believe that right now I’m mentally very strong and I believe what happens on the night is what matters.”
“I’m just going to literally go in the ring and be myself. I’m going to focus on myself, be the best that I can be and get the knockout victory because that’s what I feel like I need to do to win the fight.”
“I don’t know which round. I’m not a psychic… but that’s my plan. In boxing you can’t predict rounds. I’ve just got to go in there with a goal in my head and produce.”
“This is my first time in Russia. I’m enjoying myself, I’ve been treated well and I’m enjoying the country but I’m not nervous. This is why I’m smiling so much. Because where I’ve come from, I’ve rose very quickly to be here, so I’m happy to be at this level and I’m going to make the most of it.”
“No disrespect to Kovalev, he’s been a champ for a long time, he’s unified, he’s been there and done it. I’m very ambitious and I’m literally just hungry and I want to get to that stage and change my life. I’m sure he wanted to change his life when he started so I’m at that stage now and I’m just aggressive with my approach and how hungry I am.”
“Life is about challenges and you don’t know if you can do something until you try. I’m here to do a job. It don’t matter who the crowd is rooting for, Kovalev would probably say the same… once you get in the ring, it’s you and your opponent and that’s all that matters.”
“I am indeed very pleased to be home. We have a big fight ahead of us. We’ll try to do our best to come out happy and very pleased after the fight.”
“My career and my schedule doesn’t really let me live here. I try to be as far as possible from home so I can work harder and not lose energy.”
“We did have an offer (from Canelo Alvarez) but we can talk about that after Saturday night. Official agreements were already made with Antony Yarde. My primary task is to defend the title. If the fight is still interesting for Canelo afterwards then OK.”
“I understand Anthony Yarde’s ambitions. He calls himself a lion but to me he is a cub. He is so young. I will have to get rid of all that baby fur off his skin so he will run away back home. It is clear he comes here and he wants to be like that. I have this experience. Now is my time.”
“The plans are to have all the belts and become an absolute champion. I think there should be only one champion. We have four in our weight division, it’s not quite clear who is strongest. It would be great to decide amongst us who is strongest.”
“He thinks that he will knock me out but Saturday will show to everybody what will be exactly. He has had a lot of fights and he’s won them by KO but Saturday will show.”
George Warren (Queensberry Promotions)
“Thanks again to Main Events, Egis Klimas, Top Rank, RCC Boxing Promotions and Krusher Promotions in helping us to get the deal done and over the line. It wasn’t the easiest deal, it took some time but we’re here and we’re here to win.”
“Credit to Anthony, he’s stepping up to the challenge. It’s been mentioned already Anthony has had 18 fights, 12 amateur fights, which I believe is 6 or 7 less than Sergey has had professionally… it’s a testament to his character and the belief that Tunde has in him.”
“We are fully aware and know about Kovalev and what he’s capable of. He’s a fantastic boxer and will go down as a potential future Hall of Famer.”
“It was actually on our promotion in the UK back in 2013 when he knocked out Nathan Cleverly to win the title.
"Anthony is here for Queensberry Promotions and for the UK to get the title back.”
Tunde Ajayi (Anthony Yarde’s trainer and manager)
“I’m his sparring partner, Tunde Ajayi. I’m Anthony’s best sparring partner. Because I believe just like in the old martial arts movies that the teacher is the trainer of the student.”
“I have developed a system which I know is capable of bringing a fighter from an embryonic stage to the stage where we are now.
“That belief in myself and the belief Anthony has in himself and the belief he had in me and my system is why we’re here today.”
Vadim Evdokimov (Deputy Governor of Chelyabinsk)
“The Chelyabinsk region and the South Urals are the center of energy power. Here are the Ural Mountains and the country of the cities of Arkaim. And only in such a place can integral and purposeful people, such as Sergey, be born. Of course, we are all very proud of him. When Sergey enters the ring, he always remembers his home region. And his every victory is a victory of all residents of the Chelyabinsk region. ”
Egis Klimas (Sergey Kovalev’s manager)
“We started working with Sergey in 2009, and in 2012 a contract was signed with a promotion company. Ten years ago, we believed in each other and started working. And today we have created each other. Today I have 17 people from the countries of the former USSR, the guys are good and can become champions. ”