ARTUR BETERBIEV RETAINED his unified world light heavyweight championships with an eighth round stoppage of Anthony Yarde at the OVO Arena, Wembley on Saturday night.
Yarde gave so much in this mission to become world champion and matched the ferocious Beterbiev until he could take no more with the contest being stopped at 2.08 on the clock.
Yarde began with bristling intent, kept his head on the move and snapped in a number of shots to let Beterbiev know he was there. The momentum was maintained throughout the second, but the champion did start to demonstrate his menaces in the third and fourth.
However, Yarde was able to respond even under pressure. In the fifth a firework was lit and the fight lived up to every expectation. Yarde rocked the champion with a big right before coming under sustained attack from Beterbiev and doing well not to wilt.
Yarde suffered a cut in the sixth under his right eye before the seventh turned into another thriller with Yarde landing big before getting turned onto the ropes and being forced to take some brutal shots in the corner. Still, he continued to fire back.
In the eighth it was over. Yarde was clubbed to the canvas and allowed to continue before trainer Tunde Ajayi had seen his man take enough punishment.
Moses Itauma made a spectacular entry into the big time by blasting out Marcel Bode in a matter of seconds with a big right hand. The official time was 23 seconds of round one when referee Mark Bates waved off the prospect of any further action.
Tommy Fletcher got his fourth win as a pro, but endured a frustrating six rounds against Darryl Sharp, who continually circled the ring and attempted to lure the young cruiserweight in close.
If Fletcher did step in, Sharp launched wild haymakers, which made the Norfolk Nightmare a little reluctant to take chances. He also had to contend with Sharp’s conversational skills across the course of the fight, with the seasoned journeyman awarding low marks for any shots he did take.
Ultimately, Fletcher will benefit from the experience of the six rounds and not being able to knock someone out and taking victory by 60-54 on the card of referee Sean McAvoy.
Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna upset the odds to defeat Karol Itauma to win the WBC International light heavyweight title.
It was a first defeat in 10 for Itauma in his first title encounter. He started brightly but the danger signs were there early on when Maderna enjoyed success with a couple of right hands over the top.
Itauma was forced to overcome some adversity when he found himself rocking in the fourth round after shipping a couple of shots. It came home to roost in the fifth when he let through another right hand that, this time, sent him tumbling to the canvas.
Itauma did not respond quickly and referee John Latham made the decision to stop the fight after 1.04 of the round.
Artem Dalakian retained his WBA world flyweight championship with a hard fought victory over challenger David Jimenez. Ukraine’s Dalakian prevailed on the scorecards by margins of 115-113 x 2 and 116-112 to inflict a first defeat on the Costa Rican.
In what was a typically fiery flyweight clash, competed at breakneck speed, the quality and slick work tended to come from the champion Dalakian, with Jimenez setting the pace with his workrate and willingness to continually pile forward.
He wasn’t without success on his offensive sorties, but Dalakian appeared to have most of the answers even in retreat and has now clocked up six successful defences of his belt.
Khalid Ali registered a quick fire victory over Ivica Gogosevic when the Croatian called it a night on his stool after one round of action. Brick Lane boy Ali twice put the outclassed Gogosevic to the canvas and the Bengal Tiger is now 5-0 in the pro ranks with three stoppages.
The normally lively and dangerous Sandeep Singh Bhatti from India was reduced to a subdued display by the punch-picking prowess of Ilford featherweight Umar Khan. Khan used the facial features of Bhatti for target practice and was completely dominant in a fight that many believed would serve as a genuine test for the 20-year-old. Sean McAvoy rightly scored 60-54 in favour of the now 6-0 Khan.
A bludgeoning right hand from Sean Noakes put Santiago Garces out cold after 2.17 of round five in the Maidstone man’s fourth professional outing. The Colombian made it a competitive affair, although Noakes was always holding the upper hand and now he has a second stoppage victory to his name.
At super featherweight, the gifted Charles Frankham outclassed the unambitious Colombian Joshua Ocampo in his seventh fight as a professional. Ocampo rarely engaged was the 23-year-old former storied amateur stalked him around the ring in search of a telling shot to rubber-stamp his superiority. Ocampo proved a slippery enough customer and Frankham was forced to settle for a 60-54 shutout win on the card of referee Sean McAvoy.
Joshua Frankham – first cousin to Charles – returned to the fighting fold after time out due to illness with an aggressive, high-tempo display against Joe Hardy at welterweight. Showing no ill-effects, Frankham pummelled his way to a seventh career win over six impressive rounds against the game Leeds man in front of a watching Tyson Fury. Referee Mark Bates scored the fight 60-54 in favour of the 23-year-old Frankham.
In the opening fight of the night super featherweight, Masood Abdulah moved to 8-0 with a 60-53 defeat of rugged Nicaraguan Lesther Lara over six rounds. Islington man Masood had his man down at the end of the fifth round with a punishing left hook to the body and, despite brave defiance, the outcome was never in doubt. Sean McAvoy officiated.