Yarde Rejected Several Step-Aside Offers

It was a bit of a complicated process for Anthony Yarde, but he will get the chance to challenge Sergey Kovalev, and he says he rejected multiple step-aside offers to do so.

Yarde was named mandatory challenger to the WBO light heavyweight title held by Kovalev, and after problems with a previous date, the two are set to face off on Aug. 24 in Kovalev’s home country of Russia.

The bout looked to be in a bit of trouble when Canelo Alvarez expressed interest in moving up two weight classes to challenge Kovalev, and Yarde was even offered step-aside money for the fight to take place.

In the end, however, Yarde discarded all offers and Kovalev and Canelo’s teams were unable to come to an agreement.

“First of all, it was under what I’m getting to fight Kovalev and I laughed at it,” Yarde told Sportsmail. “Then they offered me the same amount that I’m getting for the fight and I laughed it again. I said to them, ‘You better be doubling or tripling it to get me to step aside because this is a world title fight.’ Yes, it’s to do with money but I wanted to be a world champion. I feel like they were just gobsmacked I’m actually up for going to Russia, a lot of people are.

“I would rather get paid the same money and fight for a world title. They offered me life-changing money to step aside and let him fight Canelo, but again, I just said, ‘You’ve got to double or triple it to get me to walk away from a world title shot.’ Either they couldn’t afford it or it didn’t make sense to them, I don’t know the reasons behind it but they didn’t up their offer.”

Yarde further stated critics expected him to pull out of the fight and that he has no shot to defeat Kovalev in his home country. Some even saw Yarde’s headstrongness as a case of a publicity stunt.

But Yarde says there’s no stunt here — he’s planning to go into Kovalev’s country and stop him to become the new WBO 175-pound champion.

“Nobody has really gone out to Russia to fight somebody like Kovalev,” Yarde said. “A lot of people are paying attention to it and can’t believe what I’m doing. Some people think I’m going to pull out. I’ve seen comments saying ‘Oh this is a good publicity stunt’ and I was just laughing. They don’t understand. They really don’t understand I have been offered a lot of money to not fight this guy.

Ninety percent of people would have snapped their hands off. They would have got on their knees and thanked them. I see it as this is my career, this is my world title and I want it now.

Original Story: Boxing Scene

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