My number one UK prospect right now is Anthony Yarde. Boasting an undefeated record of 10W 0L with 9 victories coming via way of knockout, he has been described by his promoter as the next Nigel Benn and with his natural power and athleticism I am predicting that he is going to leap the attention of the British public in the coming years if he stays on track and developing at such a fast pace.
Campaigning in the light heavyweight division Anthony is being promoted by Frank Warren and BT Sport who are doing a great job exposing him to British fight fans.
It is easy to jump on a bandwagon and add to the hype a fighter who looks the part and racks up a few big knockouts early in his career against journeyman opponents but I do believe in this case he is a genuine talent who could progress a long way in the game.
For someone who was playing football and going to athletics club and who was not wholly committed solely to boxing from a young age he is showing fast progress. He only had 12 amateur fights and he won 11 of them by knockout.
He has displayed already some of the attribute in the pro ranks that you just don’t see from fighters at at domestic level and he hasn’t even fought for a British title yet. Whilst he obviously has power it is the more subtle moves that are making him standout at this moment in time.
You’d expect all good prospects to knockout a fighter like journeyman Darren Snow as he did in his last fight, but more impressive than the inevitable result, was the style in which he did it. He was clinical and forceful without rushing and you could see him thinking through his combinations as he attacked.
To me that sets him above other prospects such as Matchroom fighter, Lawrence Okolie, for example who, despite the fact that he is in a different weight class, is of comparable inexperience having not had an extensive amateur career himself. Despite having similar knockout power, Okolie looks much more raw, wild and over aggressive at times as you would expect.
Yarde is not just swarming in with a flurry and waiting for the referee to save his opponent but he is picking his punches on the way in. He is demonstrating ability well beyond his experience level.
Despite his muscular physique he does not look cumbersome and is razor sharp with good handspeed. His background in athletics may have gone some way to aiding his development of lean powerful muscle mass. As with many musclebound fighters they can suffer from lactic acid and look stiff like there pushing there punches but he definitely doesn’t fall into that category.
Now still only 23 years of age he has time on his side. He still has a long way to go and a lot to improve but early indications are very good. If he has a good chin which has not really been tested yet then he might reach the top echelons of the sport. Yarde is making big strides early, can he keep on the steep trajectory?