Lyndon Arthur upsets Anthony Yarde with a split decision win to retain his Commonwealth title and win the vacant WBO Inter-Continental title
Anthony Yarde loses the second fight of his career in an upset to fellow-Brit Lyndon Arthur. The Domestic rivals have been on a collision course for some time now, and the match-up promised an intriguing clash of styles, with Arthur known for his excellent jab and slick boxing, and Yarde better known as a front-foot knockout artist.
The opening rounds played out as could be expected, with Arthur getting the jab working while Yarde worked to find a way into range.
By round four, Yarde was beginning to close the gap, but still, neither man was throwing a great deal, and the story of the fight remained the Arthur jab.
As the uneventful rounds ticked by and the fight neared its close, Yarde (and more importantly his corner) seemed not to understand the urgency of the situation until the twelfth when the challenger finally began to fight the fight that was expected of him. It was all too little too late though for Yarde, with the Judges scoring it 117-111 Yarde, 115-114 Arthur and 115-114 Arthur.
Arthur entered the contest undefeated in 17, while Yarde had lost once in his 21 fights. That loss came in 2019 when, in a massive step-up in class, Yarde travelled to Russia where he challenged multiple-time world champion Sergey Kovalev for the WBO light-heavyweight title. Kovalev managed to stop Yarde in the eleventh round, but despite running out of steam, Yarde gave a great account of himself, coming within a punch or two of scoring a TKO of his own.
It was expected that after gassing early against Kovalev, Yarde would take a more cautious approach here, but there is a fine line between caution and simply not doing enough. In the end, Yarde let too many rounds slip away from him. Had he taken the fight to Arthur before the twelfth round, he'd likely have dominated.
In the post-fight interview, Yarde was in denial that he'd lost, not seeming to grasp that Arthur had controlled the majority of the fight with his jab. Inevitably, the rematch was called for.