Surprisingly trailing on two of the scorecards going into the eighth, IBF/WBC/WBO light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs) took the judges out of the equation by halting the hometown fighter Anthony Yarde (23-3, 22 KOs) in the eighth round in a thrilling contest on Saturday night at the OVO Arena in London, England.
The judges had it 5-2 & 4-3 for Yarde and 4-3 for Beterbiev going into the eighth round. Boxing 247 had Beterbiev up 5-2. It was hard to give Yarde more than two rounds because he was lit up the end of rounds 3, 4, 5 & 7. The only rounds that Yarde squeaked out were 2 & 6.
Beterbiev appeared to take round 6 off, throwing very few punches, allowing Yarde to win it by default. In the seventh, Beterbiev came storming back, hurting Yarde and came close to stopping him.
At the start of the eighth, Beterbiev put his foot on the accelerator, going all out, nailing the bloody & battered Yarde with shots to the head. Finally, Beterbiev landed a beautiful textbook right hook that shook Yarde to his boots. Beterbiev followed it up with a wide right hand that connected to the side of Yarde’s head, dropping him in his tracks.
Yarde looked drunk as he got to his feet, walking to his corner on shaky legs as if he thought the contest was over. The referee Steve Gray turned Yarde around and had him walk toward him before allowing the fight to continue.
Beterbiev immediately went after the hurt Yarde like a shark going after its prey and connected with several more bone-crunching shots before the referee waved it off after being alerted by Yarde’s corner that they wanted the fight stopped.
At the time of the stoppage, the scores were as follows:
- 68-65 – Yarde
- 67-66 – Yarde
- 67-66 Beterbiev
Yarde did a lot of needless moving around the ring in the first three rounds, which depleted his energy levels. Once he stopped moving in the fourth round, he had some success, landing big shots on the easy-to-hit 38-year-old Beterbiev.
Yarde was cut under his right eye, which looked swollen in the sixth. Beterbiev suffered a worse cut over his left eye in the round, but neither fighter was affected by the blood.
In Yarde’s case, he was hurt multiple times at the end of rounds 4, 5 & 7, but he kept coming back and landing big shots that would result in Beterbiev backing away to stay harm’s way.
Yarde lost his mouthpiece twice in the fight and was warned by the referee after the second time.
There were many huge punches that Beterbiev missed with in each round, and you can argue that if he’s connected with them, this fight would have been order a lot sooner than it did.
The right hand that Beterbiev hurt Yarde with in the eighth round was one of the rare instances in which he landed one of his huge shots on the button.
The follow-up right hand that Beterbiev hit Yarde with to drop him was a beautiful punch with 100% power and placed perfectly on the side of his head.
There was no way that Yarde could recover from that shots, and it was a good thing his corner had the fight stopped because he would have been seriously hurt if it had gone on much longer.