Artur Beterbiev’s cutman Russ Anber revealed after last Saturday night’s fight that the bad cut that he sustained in the clash was a result of the head of Anthony Yarde, not from a punch.
The referee ruled that the cut was from a punch from Yarde (23-3, 22 KOs), which meant that he could have won had the fight been halted by the ringside doctor. Luckily for Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs), he scored a knockout of Yarde in the eighth round to avoid a loss.
As the visiting fighter, Beterbiev was up against it, with the blown ruling on his cut and with two of the judges shockingly having Yarde ahead after seven rounds, we could have a really ugly outcome. Also, the referee was lenient with Yarde losing his mouthpiece twice and not penalizing him.
Beterbiev would have lost his IBF, WBC & WBO light heavyweight titles and had no way of forcing a rematch with Yarde being the WBO mandatory.
In hindsight, Beterbiev should have resisted the notion of fighting Yarde in his home country of England rather than telling his promoters at Top Rank that he either ways a neutral venue, such as the United States or have the fight staged in Montreal, Canada, where he lives.
The referee made the right decision
“They stopped it in the corner, the corner stopped the fight,” said Beterbiev’s cutman Russ Anber to Boxing UK about the eighth round knockout win over Anthony Yarde.
“I’m not sure, but the referee may have let it go, but the corner called the fight, and I think they made the right decision because he was starting to take a lot of punishment,” Anber said about Yarde.
“With that said, the heart, the courage, and the punch resistance that Anthony Yarde showed was better than any of the previous opponents Artur has ever fought.
“So full credit to him because he took some hellacious shots in there. He not only took them, but fought back after taking them, so full credit to Anthony Yarde.
“I hope everything is okay,” Russ said when told there’s speculation that Yarde suffered a fractured eye socket. “Who wants to get punched by someone that punches as hard as Yarde. Of course, he didn’t like it. Who would like that? You don’t like that stuff. I’m sure Yarde didn’t like getting hit, either.
“Unfortunately, that’s the game. When you’ve got two punches bombing away like that, something is going to give at some point. I was surprised at the resistance of Anthony Yarde.
“I thought it was close. I thought it was competitive, and I thought Artur had control of the fight. So we were fine. There was no panic in the corner as to whether he was losing.
Beterbiev shifted gears in eighth
“We thought we had it, and the plan was working as [Beterbiev’s trainer] Marc [Ramsay] set it out to just keep the pressure on break the guy down, break the guy down, and when he hurt in him in the previous round [seventh] where he decided to get a little more physical, I think that’s when Marc was ready to put the foot on the pedal and say that’s what we’re going to do for the rest of the way in.
“There was no issues with his conditioning at all, and I don’t think that he showed that there was. He didn’t look tired at all in the fight. As a matter of fact, he started punching harder and stronger as the fight went on,” Anber said about Beterbiev when asked if he would have been able to continue fighting hard if the fight had gone past the eighth round.
“Artur says one thousand percent it was a clash of heads. The referee called it a punch, but Artur says one thousand percent it was a clash of heads,” Anber said when asked how Beterbiev suffered a cut over his left eye in the sixth.
“Thankfully, it wasn’t an issue, and we were able to get the bleeding to stop in the corner, but it was a bad cut. It went along a straight line, and then it dropped down. It was like a tear on the eyelid. It wasn’t very pretty. So I’m glad I got the job done in stopping it.
“He told Yarde the same thing. He said, ‘How old are you?’ He said, ‘I’m 28.’ He said, ‘I turned when I was 29. You got time.’ Let’s hope we get the Bivol fight. That’s the fight we’re looking for,” said Anber.