Pick Him: World Champion Artur Beterbiev vs. #6 Anthony Yarde (Saturday, ESPN+, 3:30 p.m. EST)
The 38-year-old lineal light heavyweight king, Artur Beterbiev (18-0, 18 KOs), has been a pro for about ten years and has never been the most active fighter. What the Russian slugger does is maximize minutes and he’s on the road this weekend to see if he can max out more.
Beterbiev heads to Wembley to take on the challenge of 31-year-old Anthony Yarde (23-2, 22 KOs) in a clash of big punchers. Yarde has won three in a row, including avenging a loss to Lyndon Arthur by knockout, and has won five of six since a single knockout loss to Sergey Kovalev. Can the youngster catch an aging fighter with something big before Beterbiev revs the engine? That seems to be the drama of this fight. The undercard will also feature the return of inactive flyweight title roster Artem Dalakian in his first defense of the WBA belt since November 2021.
Additional shows to watch
Wednesday – Francis vs. Saracho (ProBox TV, 8:00 p.m. EST)
Up-and-coming Jr. lightweights get the main event on this streaming app service. Cesar Francis, 32 (12-0, 7 KOs) is undefeated but the youngster is on the other side of the ring. 21-year-old Jesus Saracho (12-1, 11 KOs) bounced back from a knockout loss with two straight stoppage wins. This is part of a three-fight card with two more preliminary fights starting at 7:00 p.m. EST.
Friday – Bohachuk vs. Gallimore (UFC Fight Pass, 10:00 p.m. EST)
A few solid Jr. middleweights who haven’t quite made it to title opportunities are locking horns in this main event. Serhii Bohachuk, 27 (21-1, 21 KOs) has scored three knockouts since suffering a stoppage loss to Brandon Adams. Nathaniel Gallimore, 34 (22-6-1, 17 KOs) has faced a division who’s who but has lost five of his last seven.
Saturday – Rocha vs. Ashie (DAZN, 8:00 p.m. EST)
Welterweight action envelops the televised weekend. Since a 2020 loss to Rashidi Ellis, 25-year-old Alexis Rocha (21-1, 13 KOs) has won five in a row and gets a series opponent here. George Ashie, 38 (33-5-1, 25 KOs) comes in with five straight knockout wins and Ashie has never been stopped.
Cliff Rold is the editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org