Anthony Yarde returns to the ring stopping Dec Spelman in the 6th round

Derivative of original image by Mac Dreamstate  - CC BY-SA license

On his first outing since February Anthony Yarde impresses with a dominant performance against an overmatched Dec Spelman.

Frank Warren's Queensberry promotions returned to York Hall last night for a great card featuring Essuman vs Peynaud, Heffron vs Bentley, and Yarde vs Spelman. Unfortunately, the scheduled heavyweight clash between Nathan Gorman and Richard Lartey was cancelled and will now be added to Queensberry's 10 October card.

Yarde 20-1 was fighting for the first time since February when he stopped Colombia's Diego Jair Ramirez in the second round. Before that, he travelled to Russia to take on the once fearsome WBO champion Sergey Kovalev.

While he came up short against Kovalev (being stopped in the 11th), Yarde gave an excellent account of himself, coming extremely close to finishing the vastly more experienced champion in the 8th round.

Spelman's last outing was only 6 weeks ago when he lost a unanimous decision to the unbeaten Lyndon Arthur - the man expected to be Yarde's next opponent on the undercard of Joyce vs Dubois in October.

With this being Yarde's first post-lockdown fight, Spelman (16-5) might have fancied himself to catch 'the Beast' sleeping, but if Yarde was carrying any rust it certainly didn't show. However, anyone expecting a quick night's work might have been surprised to see Spelman make it to 6th.

The opening rounds were relatively cagey and looked surprisingly even despite the ever-present feeling that Yarde was simply taking his time and looking to put some rounds in the bank.

Although Spelman had some success and may even have won a couple of rounds, Yarde was always in control, stalking his opponent and waiting for the openings to present themselves.

In the 6th those openings began to appear and Yarde stepped on the gas, landing powerful shots to body and head that forced Spelman to take a knee. Although he beat the count, the ref wasn't happy with what he saw and to Spelman's dismay decided to wave it off.

Yarde will now be looking forward to the Lyndon Arthur match which, should he win, will no doubt see him setting his sights back on world-level competition.

Elsewhere on the card -

Denzel Bentley (13-0) vs Mark Heffron (25-1)

10 rounds at middleweight
Unanimous draw- (95-95, 95-95, 95-95)

The only real 50-50 fight of the night, Heffron-Bentley caused a considerable buzz on the boxing scene when it was announced and last night we saw why.

It was an all-action affair with Heffron acting as the aggressor and taking the front foot while Bentley took on the role of counterpuncher.

Round two saw early drama when Heffron - caught square - was knocked down with a perfectly timed straight-left. The rounds that followed, however, ebbed and flowed with both men having patches of success, despite the commentary which for the most part favoured Heffron.

The most decisive moment since the knockdown came in the 9th when Heffron caught Bentley with a big right hand that had the London man in trouble for the second half of the round.

In a fight that came down to what style you prefer, all three judges were unable to split them scoring it a unanimous draw.

Ekow Essuman vs Cedrick Peynaud

10 rounds for the IBF European welterweight championship
Winner - Essuman (100 - 90, 98 -93,  98 -92)

Peynaud (8-8-3), who is best known for troubling Conor Benn back in 2017 gave undefeated  Ekow Essuman (14-0) a tough fight over 10 rounds but didn't quite have enough in the arsenal to win back the title that he once held.

Though the rounds were competitive with Peynaud certainly having his moments, Ekowman did the cleaner work for the majority of the fight, emerging the clear winner on the score-cards.

Kev McCauley vs Joshua Frankham

4 Rounds at super-welterweight
Winner - Frankham (40-36)

40 year old McCauley (15 - 208 - 12),  proved a decent challenge for the pro-debut of Joshua Frankham (1-0).

Though never in any real trouble of losing, Frankham certainly wasn't handed the win against the vastly experienced veteran.

At the end of the 4 rounds, the referee scored it 40-36 to Frankham. An impressive start to the career of the young prospect.

Ed Harrison vs Mohammad Bilal Ali

4 Rounds at lightweight
Winner - Harrison (39-37)

In the first fight of the night, prospect Bilal Ali (4-1) lost his unbeaten record after a close fight with Ed Harrison (2-4).

Harrison, who was expected to test Ali but not expected to win, had no intentions of merely making up the numbers. He forced the action, making things uncomfortable for Bilal on the inside which would ultimately lead to Bilal being docked a point for holding.

Despite some confusion amongst the officials at the end, the referee scored the fight 39-37 in favour of Harrison.

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All 4 majaor belts. All weight classes


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