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It’s one small step for Kovalev but one giant leap for Yarde, writes Elliot Worsell
I’M READY: Yarde heads to Russia with a winner’s mindset

TO date Anthony Yarde’s pro career has been aided by stabilisers beneath his feet and caring hands on his shoulders, just to make sure. One hand belongs to his promoter, Frank Warren, the other to his trainer, Tunde Ajayi, and together they have guided him, these hands, as Yarde begs to be released and wonders how it feels to go fast. There to protect, they have ensured Yarde has yet to go beyond the end of the street. They have supported his growth. Some will say stunted it, too. On Saturday, they come off – these stabilisers, these hands – and we find ou On Saturday, at the Traktor Sport Palace in Chelyabinsk, Russia, Yarde, rather than ease into things, will instead be shoved into the road, a road unfamiliar, and expected to navigate his way around Sergey Kovalev, the WBO lightheavyweight champion, with not even a test run to his name. It’s then, with Yarde in danger, we will discover whether he’s world-class or not.

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RUSSIAN ROULETTE – Anthony Yarde enters the lion’s den when he challenges Sergey Kovalev MIND THE GAP – Examining 10 cases when British fighters have stepped up in class NO MORE MR NICE GUY – Anthony Joshua takes aim at Andy Ruiz and Lennox Lewis MUCH, MUCH MORE – Including the tournament designed to find a successor to Muhammad Ali