On another relatively quiet week of boxing action, one man’s performance stood above all others as he was able to put together a second consecutive strong outing and re-establish himself as a legitimate threat in the crowded 175-pound division. Anthony Yarde put together a near picture-perfect performance in a dominating a one-sided beat down of a game and rugged Dec Spelman of Lincolnshire, which ended via sixth-round TKO. It was a disciplined and well-schooled performance from Yarde who has ran off his second consecutive stoppage victory, since losing a fight of the year type fight to Sergey Kovalev 13-months ago. With the TKO victory Yarde picks up our Fighter of the Week award improves his record to 20-1 (19) and becomes the first man to stop Spelman, who had previously been beaten four times, each previous time he was able to hear the final bell.
Yarde fought just once since his loss to Kovalev. A stay busy fight against an overmatched Diego Ramirez in Spain back in February. There’s was no rust however as the hard-hitting Brit was in control from the opening bell. Controlling the first two rounds with his shotgun jab. Creating distance and punishing Spelman from long range. By round yard three Yarde hit his groove, rocking his overmatched opponent with lead right hands and left hooks and avoiding Spelman’s return fire with a slick shoulder roll. By the sixth round, Yarde had seen enough and picked up the pace. Throwing blistering right hands that stunned Spelman. The writing was on the wall and with less than a minute to go a barrage of hammering right hands landed cleanly on Spelman and dropped him. He was able to beat the count but unable to continue, referee Michael Alexander stopped the beating at 2:42 of the sixth round. Post-fight the victorious Yarde said “This win meant a lot. I was sharp, everyone knew about last year with the Kovalev fight, everyone knows my ambition,”
Prior to stepping into the ring with potential future Hall of Famer and former Light Heavyweight champ Sergio Kovalev, Yarde was a bright young prospect who was largely untested. His best wins were against Travis Reeves of the US and Dariusz Sek of Poland. Decent opponents, but certainly not a murderers row of light heavyweights. Kovalev was a chance to win a world title but also to show that he belonged amongst the best light heavyweights in the world. Despite, being stopped in the 10th round. Yarde proved he belongs and nearly stopped the Russian in the eighth. Since then Yarde has taken two tune-up type fights and continues to look sharper in each outing. With this weekend’s performance he has put himself in a position to score another title fight in the relative near future That title shot could be expedited should he fight and defeat unbeaten Lyndon Authur. A fight between the two light heavyweights is being rumored. Should Yarde win that fight, unified champ Arthur Beterbiev is on his side of the promotional street and could be a potential opponent. The other option for a world title would be Joe Smith or the winner of Maxim Vlasov vs Umar Salmov. Smith will fight the winner of the Vlasov/Salmov fight for the WBO strap that was vacated by Canelo Alvarez. Yarde would match up nicely against any of those three men and any of those fights could easily be made for 2021.