Anthony Yarde's not ruling out stepping up to cruiserweight, heavyweight

Anthony Yarde celebrates victory over Chris Hobbs following the The Southern Area Light-Heavyweight Championshup match at Copper Box Arena on May 20, 2017 Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Anthony Yarde dreams as big as he punches and on Saturday he can take a step closer to his ambitious goals.

The unbeaten light-heavyweight is one of Britain's most exciting boxing prospects, aiming not only to become world No.1 in his division, but also at cruiserweight and even heavyweight, where fellow Londoner Anthony Joshua is world No.1.

Unlike other boxers tipped for a bright future, Yarde did not box at an Olympics. In fact, he only had 12 amateur bouts before turning professional.

But the athletic 25-year-old, who has stopped ten of his 11 victims, is making quick progress and on Saturday challenges Hungarian Richard Baranyi for the fringe WBO European belt at the Copper Box Arena in east London, not far from his home in Ilford.

"They say aim for the stars, but I want to aim beyond the stars," Yarde told ESPN. "I believe in making the impossible possible.

"Mike Tyson used his height to his advantage. He was a tank and always born a heavyweight, but I have a similar squat physique and could grow into being a heavyweight.

"Skills are important and if I can take the speed I have now into the heavyweight division I will be able to cause a lot of problems. Right now though, all my focus is on the light-heavyweight scene.

"A lot of boxing is to do with skills but I've sparred a few rounds with heavyweights and have noticed how you get tired more because of their weight.

"But eventually I believe I can go up to other weight divisions. Mike Tyson was my height, 6ft, and I've got knockout power.

"I used to do athletics so I know how to put on weight in the right way and if my body is not going up I will listen to my body. But equally, if my body is telling me I need to move up from light-heavyweight, I will.

"Roy Jones Jr actually started as a middleweight and won world titles at middleweight, super-middleweight, light-heavyweight and heavyweight. My dreams are to unify the world light-heavyweight titles like Roy Jones did and then at cruiserweight before then possibly the heavyweight division."

Yarde was a late starter in boxing after trying to make a career as a professional footballer and rugby player.

"When I was growing up Harlequins were interested in signing me because I was very fast and strong at an early age, but I wasn't interested in rugby at the time," Yarde said.

"I was playing football for Bishop's Stortford at the time when I had trials with Harlequins, but I just stopped going.

"I had trial for QPR as well, but I broke my toe and nothing came of it. I put on a bit of weight and stopped playing football. So I looked at different sports but my mum didn't let me box competitively before I was 18.

"Some people are natural-born punchers and I think I've always had it. People used to play blow for blow, hitting your mate's hand, as a kid. And I've always had the mentality that I can hit the hardest.

"In 2012, I was living in Forest Gate and at the time of the Olympics I had just started boxing for real. I was very motivated by watching the Olympics. I never had my eye on doing the Olympics because I started boxing very late but Mike Tyson never won an Olympic medal and he's one of the biggest names in boxing ever."

Baranyi (18-1, 12 KOs), 26, has never boxed outside of Hungary and Yarde admits he knows little about him.

"I don't really know too much about him, but I don't really focus on opponents anyway," Yarde added.

"He's had more knockouts than I've had fights so I need to step it up. I think it will sky rocket my career this fight, and I can start looking at the world scene.

"I believe everything is timing and sometimes people say they want to do it in a certain amount of time but I just need to do what I'm doing and things will fall into place."