Hackney Light-heavyweight to defend WBO title

Anthony Yarde entering the ring Pic: Morningside Arena

Hackney’s Anthony Yarde will defend his World Boxing Organisation intercontinental belt on February 23 against Mehdi Amar.

The Morningside Arena in Leicester will host the clash between Amar, the former European champion, and Yarde, the Hackney-born defender of the WBO intercontinental title.

This is Yarde’s first fight of the year having defeated Argentinian Walter Gabriel Sequeira last October. Yarde was scheduled to fight in December, but the fixture was cancelled when his opponent failed to complete a medical examination.

The 27-year-old began his professional career in 2015. Since then he has been the victor in all 17 of his bouts, clocking up a total of 46 rounds and winning by way of Knockout 16 times. Yarde said: “I am aiming for big things this year and it starts here.”

His opponent, who made his debut in 2007, has 267 rounds under his belt across 43 professional fights, succumbing to only six of his opponents. The French fighter had previously won the EBU light-heavyweight belt by defeating Serhiy Demchencko. Amar has never fought in the UK.

Not only does Yarde’s WBO intercontinental title hang in the balance, but he will also be risking his unbeaten record against his French rival. Yarde has said he believes “Amar possesses all the experience and know-how of operating at a high level, winning European titles and fighting some of the best in the division.

“It is the perfect test for me at this stage of my own development and I am looking forward to making a big statement in Leicester.”

The fight will be on the undercard of Sam Bowen’s British super-featherweight title fight with Ronnie Clark.

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