Light-Heavyweight contender Anthony Yarde is fast becoming one to watch. After stopping a previously unstopped boxing veteran, and with two belts to defend in February, Yarde is wary of getting complacent ahead of his bout against France’s Tony Averlant.

“I’m planning on going out there, being better, faster, sharper and having a better defense. Remember I’m learning on the job. People think I’ve had years and years of amateur fights, that I’m such an experienced fighter. But I’m literally doing my apprenticeship in the ring, in front of the world”, Yarde discussed with Behind the Gloves.

He defends his WBO Inter-Continental and European belts against Tony Averlant at York Hall on February 24th – but the Hackney-born up and comer isn’t interested in watching the Frenchman’s past bouts.

“Sometimes your opponent might fight someone else completely different from the way he fights you. Boxing’s, you know, like a game of chess. You train hard, you put your own little strategies together, get your game plans, and then you go in the ring to try and execute”.

In his last bout, Yarde stopped tough Serbian Nikolas Sjekloca in December, who’d previously never been finished inside the distance. Sjekloca held a record of 32 wins and 4 losses, before he was stopped in the fourth round by some sharp shots from Yarde.

While this win put Yarde on an impressive unbeaten record of 14 victories, the 26 year old remains critical of his own work, but won’t let the opinions of the wider boxing community get into his head.

“I think I got hit with little shots that I shouldn’t have got hit with. I’m a big critic of myself. I get a lot of negativity saying about who I’m fighting, how I’m fighting them, this and that”.

“Boxing is a game full of critics. But the people that criticize are people that have never been in a boxing ring; people that can’t fight. So it’s just one of them things, I’m a big critic of myself”.

Buy BoxNation to see Anthony Yarde face off against Tony Averlant on February 24th.