Anthony Yarde delivered what was arguably the best performance of his professional career, knocking out Lyndon Arthur in the fourth round in revenge for last year’s first fight between the two, winning the Commonwealth light heavyweight title and possibly getting away from it all. prepare for another world title shot.
Yarde (22-2, 21 KOs) started aggressively from the opening bell, but wasn’t reckless about it. Arthur (19-1, 13 KOs) did his best to tie up Yarde, slow him down, wrestle with him, anything that could sap the energy and pep in Yarde’s stride, and himself achieved a solid second round.
But Yarde made his own adjustment at first, not letting Arthur do as much of that stifling, tempo-changing work in round three, hitting good shots early and late in the frame, and after Arthur connected on a good one. shot in the fourth, Yarde really came to life, assembling a combination of shots, injuring Arthur to the body, then dropping him on a final right hand to the head.
The official decision was KO at 1:27 of the fourth inning. It appears Arthur had beaten the count slightly, but he was also not in a condition to continue according to referee Bob Williams, and in the ring when the call went out, Arthur offered no arguments.
Yarde, 30, can now be set up to take on the winner of the January 15 WBO title fight between Joe Smith Jr and Callum Johnson, and the Yarde we saw tonight is a major threat to either. the other of those men, and that would also be a potentially great action fight. He seems much more ready for this kind of stage now than in 2019, when he shot Sergey Kovalev and was stopped on the 11th round in Russia.
- Hamzah Sheeraz TKO-9 Bradley Skeete: Skeete was doing pretty well for seven laps here – I did it 68-65, although it could have been a closer lap, I think – but Sheeraz, who had done nothing but follow Skeete without goal, started pushing and scored a good knockdown in the eighth. Sheeraz then landed two (2) late punches on Skeete, and Skeete just never recovered. The punches were pretty blatant and could have been a DQ in a different setting or with different dynamics on the A and B sides, but Sheeraz was only docked one point by referee Steve Gray. Skeete was let loose again in the eighth, then came to a halt early in the ninth in a third knockdown. Without the two late shots Sheeraz still could have done what he did in the end, I think, just hitting the way he finally started. He was rightfully arriving in Skeete and is a bigger, younger, and stronger man. But I hate the way it turned out. Hard not to feel that Skeete touched the end of the stick a bit in this one, he hadn’t had a serious fight for a few years and showed real motivation for this one.
- Sam Noakes TKO-9 Shaun Cooper: Noakes goes 8-0 (8 KOs) with the ninth round stoppage, a call from referee Ian John-Lewis that annoyed Cooper (11-3, 0 KOs), and I think he was right to being. To be fair, Cooper didn’t seem to have a chance of winning, but he wasn’t exactly in dire straits and making a questionable call in that situation inevitably leaves even worse decisions to be made at another time. Noakes, a lightweight 24-year-old prospect, has power and advantages for sure, but still makes mistakes that could be a problem against fighters who hit better than Cooper, or who are just a little more technically skilled, even. . A potential clash with compatriot Mark Chamberlain – who beat Cooper by an eight-round shutout in October 2020 – has been teased and would be a nice fight for Noakes, something interesting for two undefeated fighters who want to go somewhere.
- Dennis McCann PTS-8 Juan Jurado : McCann, a Frank Warren favorite, started his career at 118 but is looking to settle down at 122 which makes sense, he’s 20 and doing 118 for much longer was going to get tough, no reason to keep going. do it to fight at that level for the time being. He’s now 11-0 (6 KOs), and he certainly tried to get the stoppage in that fight, but the Argentinian Jurado (15-5-3, 1 KO) was a tough cookie, hanging there, a survived, did not get himself had too many problems and was trying to score with his own attack. McCann got the umpire’s card 80-72, which was well deserved, he won every set.
- Karol Itauma TKO-1 Tamas Laska: The save came when Laska (19-29-1, 10 KOs) knelt down after a body shot and referee Steve Gray immediately dismissed him. A quick hook, but the fight wasn’t likely to get any more competitive either, and Itauma (5-0, 3 KOs) is a handsome light heavyweight prospect. He says his plans are to win a British title by 2023 and a world title by 2026. He’s 21 right now, so he’s clearly not trying to rush things, he wants to take his time and make sure he’s a polite fighter when he starts getting serious.
- Kamil Sokolowski PTS-8 George Fox : Sokolowski, a Polish journeyman who lives in the UK and is well known for battling heavyweight prospects and often making questionable decisions, gets one in his favor as referee Lee Every scored this 79-75 for the veteran. Bad Left Hook had it 77-75 for Sokolowski; I thought Fox (4-1, 0 KOs) was actually pretty decent in the first four rounds, led him 3-1, then Sokolowski (11-23-2, 4 KOs) clearly took over in second period. I still expected Fox to make the decision because I’ve seen Sokolowski “lose” this kind of fight a few times, but Every had the winner here. You have to be happy for Sokolowski, who is still working hard and shatters a four-game losing streak with this win. Fox is 29 and, to be honest, doesn’t seem to have a fat future despite his nickname, but he could be a decent home heavyweight if he can tighten up his game from here. It can certainly be a learning defeat for him, and if he can improve and win a few, maybe even revive him with Sokolowski in a year or so. Kamil will always be there.