Published on April 28th, 2020 | by Percy Crawford


Anthony Yigit Plans Move Down To Lightweight!

Yigit ready to prove himself in the states in new weight class!

Anthony Yigit sports a 24-1-1 record. The Swedish fighter is currently on a 3-fight winning streak after suffering his first career defeat back in October 2018. The 28-year old southpaw has his sights set on the lightweight division. After experiencing the biggest stage of boxing, the WBSS Tournament which hosted some of the best super lightweights in the world, Yigit understands the level of sacrifices that he has to make to take the plunge down to lightweight. Although, it’s only 5-pounds, anyone that knows boxing understands the magnitude of dropping down in weight; something that this quarantine period hasn’t helped with. Now, back in the gym and preparing for his next move, Yigit is just patiently waiting for the reopening of boxing.

During my recent conversation with him, Yigit explains the importance of becoming a household name in the United States, why it’s imperative for him to move down in weight and much more!

How are you?

Anthony Yigit: Right now, I’m doing quite well actually. I was down in Spain when it happened [Corona Virus] because I was getting fit. I was training in Spain. The plan was, getting fit in Spain and then go to the states and take it from there. But because of the Corona Virus, Spain went into a lockdown. We actually got stuck there for almost 3-weeks. But then finally I managed to get back home with my girlfriend. So, now we’re back in Sweden and I don’t know if you know, but we had to do this hard immunity thing here, so it’s a bit more free here. So, I can go train in the gym. Basically, life if moving on as usual here, but everyone is extra cautious. With that being said I’m keeping on with my training.

The average person is going a little stir crazy as this point, what is it like for a fighter to be stuck inside for 3-weeks without the possibility of going anywhere?

Anthony Yigit: Ah man, it sucked. I was down there with my girlfriend. She supports me, so she came with me during my camps. And what happened was, when we got into the lockdown, I had lost a lot of weight because I’m aiming to move down to lightweight, so I’ve been training very hard, losing a lot of weight and dieting. And all of a sudden, the lockdown happens, and we can’t go out. I thought it was going to be for… they said 2-weeks, but we had to go down to the basement to keep training. But it’s just not the same. The coach couldn’t come to me. I had to do my own workouts. As usual you eat more so you gain the weight back. I was getting really depressed actually. Suddenly, my girlfriend said, “Listen Anthony, we gotta get back to Sweden. This lockdown isn’t ending soon, but in Sweden you can go train in the gym.” So, I decided to do that. We came back to Sweden. As far as I know, Spain is still in lockdown and in Sweden we’re not. So, I actually saved a month of training by coming back here.

To a degree, that’s an advantage you have over a lot of fighters right now who can’t get back into their gyms yet.

Anthony Yigit: Very much so, but the problem is, we still have some guidelines here in Sweden. We can’t have more than 25-people in one place. So, the gym is actually locked for everyone, but only the essential fighters… for example me or, we have two guys trying to qualify for the Olympics, they can come train. We try to train together, but my coach is doing a lot of other classes outdoors. I’m staying at my girlfriend’s house at this time and her parents are in a risk zone, so I can’t really go train with my coach because he’s meeting with other people. I can go to the gym and I can train with some of the guys that I train regularly with, but we don’t have a coach. We train by ourselves basically.

I was actually live at your fight with, Ivan Baranchyk. That fight was stopped because you had a badly swollen eye. I thought you showed a ton of heart in that fight. You didn’t want it stopped. Do you feel like your heart down at lightweight will separate you from the pack?

Anthony Yigit: Yeah, I think so. I’ve been quite comfortable at super lightweight in Europe. It’s just not the same as in the states. I just realized, when you get to a certain level, the world stage, you can’t be comfortable anymore. You gotta get that work in. You gotta fix up your diet. You gotta do everything possible to be as strong as possible and I just think I’m going to be stronger and faster at lightweight. I’m going to be able to use my boxing and all my skills at lightweight. What happens at super lightweight, they are usually stronger than me, so it doesn’t really matter what I’m trying to do defensively or technically because I don’t have the strength to execute it.

That was your first and only career defeat, what did you take away from that loss?

Anthony Yigit: I don’t think, Baranchyk is a better fighter than me in any way. He was just freakishly strong. I do look back at the fight to see what I could do differently and one of the things is, the coach that I had, even though he was a friend of mine who I have known for a very long time, it was my first time having him in my corner. So, maybe that was something that contributed to it. My coach wanted me to move my feet and keep my distance. But I couldn’t really follow that plan because I don’t think we had established the trust between us quite well. It was our first fight together. So, I go into the ring and, Baranchyk is throwing these heavy punches. If I moved backwards, I’m going to give him all that space to lunge forward. And that’s what I didn’t want. So, that’s why I stayed close to him instead. It might look like a bad tactic when you look at it, but for me, that made sense.

Do you have any regrets entering the WBSS Tournament or are you using it as lessons learned?

Anthony Yigit: I don’t regret anything. My philosophy is, you shouldn’t regret stuff that you do, you should regret the things you never did. The WBSS was a great experience for me because I got to go to the states and fight there and showcase my name a bit over there. Warming you guys up a bit (laughing).

It sucks that you haven’t fought in 2020, but unlike a lot of fighters, you did get in 3-fights in 2019. That’s not bad.

Anthony Yigit: It definitely helped. I just wanted to show everyone that I was bouncing back after that loss. I want to show everyone that I belong at the top. I deserve getting those title shots. But unfortunately, I got 3-fights, but I couldn’t really get top class fighters that I wanted to fight at the time at the European level. I could only fight the guys who agreed to fight with me. That’s just the way it was, so I couldn’t really progress my ranking from that loss. I’m hoping that we’re going to be able to improve that in the future.

Given you will be coming off of a bit of a layoff, do you now want a tune-up type of fight or are you still willing to go straight to the top of the lightweight division if possible?

Anthony Yigit: The aim is the top. What I don’t like in boxing is when you go into a fight and you’re fighting someone you’re supposed to beat. I don’t like that. I don’t want to be that kind of fighter that does that. But what I do want to do first is, move down to lightweight, make sure it suits me and also introduce myself to the American audience more. I think that’s what I need to do. To be able to do that, I need to fight someone that makes sense. I don’t want to fight someone that I can easily beat. I don’t want him to bash me up either of course, but if we can get a cracking fight in and make the American audience to say, “Anthony Yigit is someone to watch out for,” that’s the aim; first of all. And then I can go for the world title holders.

Anyone that gets an opportunity to watch you fight is in for a treat, good luck with your move down in weight. Is there anything else you want to add?

Anthony Yigit: I appreciate you. I’m just looking forward to coming over. I’m hoping that will be soon, you know. I hope everyone stays first of all. Everything else comes secondary. Take care.


Photo Credit: Christina Nilsson

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