Anthony Yarde vs Sergey Kovalev: Londoner defends controversial training regime ahead of showdown – The Sun

ANTHONY YARDE has defended his controversial training methods ahead of his world title shot against Russian powerhouse Sergey ‘Krusher’ Kovalev and looked to The Greatest for inspiration.

Flying in the face of boxing tradition and training textbooks, the 28-year-old Hackney ace and trainer Tunde Ajayi do not believe in sparring.

Almost every other fighter on the planet uses practice fights, with headguards and heavier gloves, as the perfect way to learn their trade and sharpen their tools.

But light-heavyweight Yarde, who has travelled to the WBO king’s remote backyard of Chelyabinsk for Saturday night’s bout prefers to remember the methods of Maverick No1, Muhammad Ali.

The 18-0 KO artist, said: “I sometimes look on YouTube and see people label videos ‘Anthony Yarde sparring his trainer Ade’ but that is not sparring, that’s just practice.

“We practice getting attacked, countering and attacking your opponent back, in intelligent ways.

“Everyone has their own methods, when Muhammad Ali was coming through I am sure people said he leaned back too far, had his chin too high and dropped his hands too low.

“I am not comparing myself Ali, just showing that people have different methods that work for them.”


Peckham coach Ajayi snapped back at a Russian journalist who asked for the specific sparring partners Yarde had used, saying: “I know why you asked that question.

"But I am his best sparring partner because I believe, like in the old Kung Fu movies, that the teacher is the trainer of the student."

Yarde landed in Russia on Monday without his luggage, following an airline mix-up, but refused to let it worry him.

The laidback muscleman just wanted to connect to some WIFI in his hotel but not to swot up on 36-year-old veteran Kovalev, who has starred in brilliant wins against the likes of Nathan Cleverly and Bernard Hopkins.

Yarde said: “I have seen Kovalev live once, when he lost to Eleider Alvarez last year.

"I watched him on TV as an amateur but that was the first and only time live. But I don’t study people like Kovalev, he doesn’t have my style.

“I study Floyd Mayweather, Mike Tyson, Roy Jones Jr and Sugar Ray Leonard.

"I am fighting Kovalev but I am not going to change anything now.”

Celebrated Kovalev, with a record of 33 wins, 3 losses and a draw, turned down a big-money offer from Mexican cash-cow Canelo Alvarez, to defend his title in front of his home crowd.

But he will revisit the mouthwatering match-up once he gets through Yarde, whose ‘Lion’ nickname has failed to strike fear into the Siberian slugger.

The former unified boss said: “We had an offer from Canelo, the agreements were officially made and the offer was a big one but I did not want to do it like that.

"It was all agreed but I wanted to defend my title here in my hometown.

“The Canelo fight could still be interesting, this defence allows us to consider the Canelo fight afterwards.

“Yarde calls himself a lion but he is still a cub, he is only young and I have to strip off his baby fur so he runs off back home.”

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