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Boxing Results: Anthony Yarde stops Dec Spelman

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By Mark Eisner: In a fight that went under the radar on Saturday, former WBO 175-pound title challenger Anthony Yarde (20-1, 19 KOs) made easy work of the over-matched journeyman Dec Spelman (16-5, 8 KOs) in stopping him in the 6th round at the Bt Sports Studios in London, England.

Yarde unloaded on the tired and hurt Spelman in the 6th round to putting him down on the canvas. Referee Michael Alexander then stopped the fight, which didn’t make Spelman too happy. The official time of the stoppage was at 2:42 of round six.

Yarde had battered Spelman at will in rounds one through five, and it was obvious that the fight wouldn’t go much longer at the start of the sixth.

What this writer didn’t like about Yarde tonight was the glacially slow pace he fought in for the first four rounds. It looked like he was deliberately pacing himself so that he wouldn’t run out of gas as he did in his loss to Sergey Kovalev last year.

Through the first four rounds, Yarde was using the Mayweather shoulder roll, fighting with his back against the ropes, and getting hit more than he should have. Whether that was something that Yarde did to get in rounds is unclear.

It looked to me like he was pacing himself to avoid running out of gas. If Yarde is going to continue to fight in this manner in the future, then he can forget about winning a world title.

A champion like Artur Beterbiev or Dmitry Bivol would have smashed Yarde in the first four rounds if he’d started slowly against them. Yarde will need to fight a lot differently when he starts facing world-class opposition again.

Tonight, was Yarde facing 2nd tier guy, and he didn’t look great. Yarde’s power was excellent, but the way he fought was poor and not what you would normally see from a top ten contender.

Anthony dished out a lot of pain

Spelman was eating a lot of heavy shots from Yarde in the 5th round, and one could tell that the fight would end in the next round.

Sure enough, Yarde tore into Spelman and raked him with power shots until he dropped to the canvas. The referee mercifully halted the slaughter rather than letting it continue after Spelman made it back to his feet.

It’s hard to know what Yarde is getting out of fights like this, as they’re not competitive. There’s no real learning going on, considering that Yarde isn’t being forced to deal with the adversity of any kind.

These mismatches are basically just showcased fights that are devoid of any possibility of Yarde getting anything out of it. On the positive side, Yarde is winning and putting distance between him and his loss to Sergey Kovalev last year.

Some of the sanctioning bodies will likely push Yarde up the rankings a little based on tonight’s fight, but it’s still not going to help him deal with any of the champions.

It appears that Yarde’s management is angling him towards the vacant WBO 175lb title, which has these fighters ranked ahead of him:

  • Sergey Kovalev
  • Maxim Vlasov
  • Joe Smith Jr
  • Eleider Alvarez
  • Umar Salamov

Spelman, 28, was a huge upgrade over Yarde’s previous opponent, Diego Jair Ramirez (4-49-3, 3 KOs), who he stopped in the second round earlier this year on February 8.

Yarde’s management brings him back slowly from his 11th round knockout loss to former WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey ‘Krusher’ Kovalev last year in August 2019 in Chelyabinsk, Russia.  At this pace, it could take years before Yarde faces a solid contender in rebuilding his career.

Yarde: Spelman should be happy fight was stopped

“A lot of fighters would have taken more time to get their thoughts together. I’ve got a strong mentality,” said Yarde after the fight to BT Sport. “You’ve just got to stay driven and stay focused to get the job done.

“Every fight means a lot to me, but everyone knows I had deaths in my family due to COVID. I like to keep my emotion and personal life away from boxing. Just to get the stoppage. ‘d never been stopped before.

“Being precise, being patient, working on things in the gym,” said Yarde when asked how he got the knockout of Spelman. “Again, this is a new experience fighting with no crowd. I still got the job done.

“That’s all that matters. It was a fantastic stoppage. Everyone saw me. I wasn’t breathing heavy. I was picking up the gears. I’ve got the gears to go. I learned from the fight. It’s about being patient.

“Listen, he should be happy that the referee stopped it because he’s still got a career,” said Yarde about Spelman. “I started to land at will, everyone saw it. The right hooks started coming, the body shots started coming, and he started to cover up.

Anthony wants Kovalev rematch

“I know he’s a proud man. He’s never been stopped before, but it’s about learning from it. It’s a dangerous sport, and he will tell you that my punches are heavy and they were landing. When I started hitting a man’s ears, and he’s stumbling. Listen, he can go and fight again.

“I just tell him to behave himself,” Yarde said in reacting to some comments from his next opponent Lyndon Arthur. “I’m not a person to respond to bull s***. The fight is already set up for me to fight next. I don’t want to be disrespecting Dec Spelman. He’s a tough guy.

“You’ve got to hunt down your prey. You’ve got to hunt down, you’ve got to eat, and you’ve got to feast, and that’s what it was today. I didn’t need to box. I’ll show you some boxing skills, but I didn’t need to be on my back foot. I’m confident of my power, and I knew when I started to land the shots, they would come home,” Yarde said.

“Absolutely,” said Yarde when asked if he wants a rematch with Kovalev. “I’m proud and very stubborn in the right way. I got my head screwed on, and I use my stubbornness in a positive way. So when it comes to being hard-headed and being stubborn, I’m one of those people.

“I want that fight again, and I want to go out and improve myself. I tried to get the fight [with Kovalev] straightaway, but he fought Canelo. We’ll just continue the career. You’ll see the best, Anthony.

Joshua Buatsi on Yarde’s radar

“I’m an open and honest person. You mentioned Joshua Buatsi as well. That’s a fight that’s going to happen. People keep mentioning Joshua Buatsi to me. I see people tagging me on his videos, and he’s getting angered as well.

We’re going to fight. Chill, relax. Everyone is excited about this fight. It’s going to happen. Relax, the fights are going to happen.

“His name has risen so quickly in the light heavyweight in the professional ranks because of me. People keep associating him with me. Again, his fans know about me because of his reputation of what he’s done in the amateurs in getting a bronze.

“We’re both on our paths, and we’re both confident individuals. We’re going to meet; it’s going to happen. You see what I’m doing. I don’t see his fights, but he’s doing well. It’s going to happen.

It’s an exciting fight in the future. I trained my a** to get here. I’m like a lion in the gym. No one has outworked me. I’m not stopping for anybody. That’s the mentality. Lions in the camp,” said Yarde.

Lyndon Arthur next for Yarde

The problem is, Yarde never fought a contender to get a title shot against Kovalev in the first place, which resulted in him being over-matched.

The only reason Yarde had any success in that fight is how badly faded the 36-year-old Kovalev is at this stage in his career. He’s nowhere near the fighter he’d been in his heyday. Hence, Yarde had him hurt in the 8th round before running out of gas.

With the victory tonight, Yarde will be taking on unbeaten Commonwealth light heavyweight champion Lyndon Arthur (17-0, 12 KOs) next. Arthur, 29, is coming off of a 12 round unanimous decision win over Dec Spelman on July 31.

At least Yarde can brag that he did a better job of defeating Spelman than Arthur did, but it’s not a big deal. Spelman isn’t world-class, so there really isn’t much to brag about.

Yarde, 29, is old enough to where he should be testing himself against the likes of Joe Smith Jr, Jean Pascal, and Gilberto Ramirez.

Mark Heffron vs. Denzel Bentley

In the chief support fight on the card, middleweight Mark Heffron (25-1-1 19 KOs) and Denzel Bentley (13-0-1, 11 KOs) fought to a disappointing ten-round draw. The two were battling for the vacant International Boxing Federation European 160-lb title.

The judges scored it 95-95, 95-95, and 95-95. Boxing News 24 also scored it the same as the three judges in seeing it as a knotted contest. The draw for ‘Kid Dynamite’ Heffron ends his four-fight winning streak.

His only career defeat came two years ago in a 10t round knockout defeat against the hard puncher Liam Williams in 2018.


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